Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Copyright Fundamentals: What is Copyright?


         Large copyright sign made of jigsaw puzzle pieces by Horia Varlan is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Large copyright sign made of jigsaw puzzle pieces by Horia Varlan is licensed under CC BY 2.0

What is Copyright?

Copyright encourages creativity and scholarship by protecting a creator's right to prevent unauthorized use of his or her work.

All works created in the United States are automatically copyrighted. That's right! Even if a work is unpublished and does not contain a notice of copyright ©, it is still protected under copyright law. There are some exceptions, such as works in the public domain.

Fortunately, copyright law offers provisions with authors and educators in mind. There are several ways in which educators can use copyrighted material that are within the bounds of the law.

Use the tabs above to learn about the following topics:

   For the Classroom
   Online/TEACH Act

   Fair Use

   Creative Commons

   Public Domain

Please note that this guide is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be used as legal advice.

Copyright on Campus Video by Copyright Clearance Center

copyright on campus video


Ask us for help




Mendocino College librarians are happy to assist with any questions you might have. 

Library Reference Desk

Or Visit Us on Cranium Cafe

Cranium Cafe Logo

You can find us at Cranium Cafe, Library Department.

Knock on our doors or leave us a message. 

Ukiah Campus: 707.468.3053 | Coast Center: 707.961.2200 | Lake Center: 707.263.4944 | North County Center: 707.459.6224
Email: Library Webmaster | Mendocino Community College

Powered by Springshare. Login to LibApps