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Copyright Information

links to guides, information centers, tutorials and publications dealing with copyright issues of interest to academia

St. Mary's Intellectual Property Policy

St. Mary's University's Intellectual Property Policy was approved by the Board of Trustees in 2011. It addresses policies concerning copyright, patents, trademarks, and research materials.

Open Access

open access iconThe Open Access "movement" is attempting to make more results of academic research freely available online, without most of the normal copyright restrictions. The movement is gaining ground in academia, especially in the sciences, due to federal guidelines that require that publications and data resulting from federally-sponsored research be deposited in free-access repositories.

To learn more about this exciting new wrinkle in the scholarly communications landscape, check out the Open Access tab above.

Fair Use

pen and paper iconThis PowerPoint presentation was used in 2006 as a faculty workshop. Links to websites have been updated. At the end of the presentation is a listing of fair use-related court cases through the date of the presentation.

Copyright background

Copyright was established by the U.S. Constitution in order—

"To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries."


copyright symbol

It is a complicated and multi-faceted area of the law which can be an important consideration in many different educational, scholarly, and even personal, endeavors. Different perspectives can emphasize different aspects of the law as well—that of the creator of a copyrighted work, a teacher using such a work in a class, a student quoting it in a research paper, someone viewing or listening to it on a computer, etc.

In addition, the broader term "intellectual property" is often used in conjunction with copyright. Intellectual property considerations include trademark and patent law as well as copyright. Here are the three types of intellectual property:

  • literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other types of authored works (copyright)
  • words, phrases, symbols, or designs used to distinguish goods or services provided by a particular party (trademarks)
  • inventions and discoveries (patents)

The scope of the guides linked to on these pages is limited primarily to resources concerning copyright, although some of the sites also provide information on intellectual property in general. This still makes for a large collection of links dealing with more subjects and situations than most people are concerned with at any one time. Within each of the sub-sections of the page listed above on the tabs, the links are listed in alphabetical order.

Since many of the copyright questions that come up here on a college campus deal with fair use in an academic environment, a few particularly useful guides for educators and students needing to make these kinds of decisions are highlighted under the Making Copyright Decisions tab. If more detailed information or assistance is required in some situations, you might want to consult the Tutorials/Information Centers tab.

We particularly recommend the UT system's Copyright Crash Course.

Scholarly Communication

newspaperCopyright is only one issue of concern in the world of scholarly communication. Our periodicals librarian, Marcella Lesher, has developed the following guide with links to information relating to this important topic:


This guide was originally developed by retired librarian Kathy Amen.

Questions? Ask Us


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