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21st Century Digital Scholarship at UCF


This page is intended to provide information only and should not be considered legal advice. If there are legal questions pertaining to official UCF business relating to copyright or fair use, direct these questions to the UCF Office of the General Counsel.

"Copyright is a legal concept, enacted by most governments, giving the creator of an original work exclusive rights to it, usually for a limited time. Generally, it is 'the right to copy', but also gives the copyright holder the right to be credited for the work, to determine who may adapt the work to other forms, who may perform the work, who may financially benefit from it, and other related rights."
-Retrieved from

For more information on copyright basics, visit:


Creative Commons

Creative Commons is a non-profit organization that supports open access licensing practices. Traditional copyright laws restrict sharing while Creative Commons licensing provides a way for the public to quickly and legally share their work and use the work of others.

Sharing Your Work

If you’re interested in allowing others to use your work without requiring them to request your permission, Creative Commons offers copyright licenses that make sharing easy without sacrificing your rights as the author. Several types of licenses with different levels of restriction such as “non-commercial use only” are available.

Using Others’ Work

Need to use another’s creative work for a project? Creative Commons licensed work will allow you to use the piece without having to request permission- just make sure to review the license for any restrictions and provide attribution to the creator/author.


Fair Use

"Fair Use" allows educators & scholars to reproduce a copyrighted work as long as it's use meets certain criteria.

Four factors are used to determine whether use of a work is considered "fair use"-

  1. Purpose for Use (is it for nonprofit educational use or commercial use?)
  2. Nature of the Work (is it a film, article, etc.)
  3. Amount Used (are you using a small portion of the work or a substantial amount?)
  4. Effect on Work's Use on the Market (will it result in the copyright owner potentially losing the ability to profit from their work?)

Stanford University Libraries provides an excellent overview of Fair Use including summaries of many Fair Use Cases. See also the U.S. Copyright Office on Fair Use for more information.

Determining whether or not the use of a work is considered "fair use" may be highly subjective. Consult the tools below to help determine whether or not you would be protected by the "fair use" doctrine but remember that these tools are meant to serve as a guide. Your final determination as a result of using this tools is ultimately based on your own judgement.

Last updated June 20, 2013 4:12:57 PM

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