U.S. Copyright Law

Copyright protection is afforded to any work that is in a form that can be seen, reproduced, or otherwise communicated. Some examples:

  • Literary works
  • Musical works
  • Dramatic works
  • Pictoral, graphic, and sculptural works
  • Motion pictures
  • Sound recording
  • Architectural works


An owner of a copyright has exclusive rights to use or authorize:

  • Reproduction of the work
  • To prepare derivative works
  • To distribute copies or the work to the public by sale, rental, lease, lending, or transfer of ownership
  • To perform work publicly
  • To display the work publicly
  • For sound recordings, to perform publicly via digital audio transmission


There are several specific areas of copyright law that apply to the UC community:

  • Music and Movies
  • Plagiarism. The university's policy can be found on the UC Library site, and the Student Code of Conduct can be found here.
  • Faculty, staff and student intellectual property issues - IPO office at UC and UC Libraries copyright policy here.


For more information, visit:

UC Information on Copyright Infringement