First, determine if you are dealing with a copyrighted work.
Copyright covers "original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression."
Copyright protection is automatic from the moment of creation. Student work, class notes, YouTube videos, websites, personal letters, email, diagrams, and many other things are all covered by copyright.
Second, if the work is not in the public domain or licensed for use, is there a legal exemption to copyright law that would allow you to use the work?
Third, if the work you wish to use is not licensed or covered by an exemption, you may run a Fair Use analysis.
If none of the above allows you to use a copyrighted work, then you can seek permission, which may involve paying royalties.
This guide is not meant to offer or substitute for legal advice.
Nothing on this guide is to be construed as legal advice. The purpose of this guide is to provide basic information and guidance to the Rockhurst community about copyright law and fair use in an academic setting. It is the responsibility of faculty, staff, and students to use this guide to determine copyright compliance.
The Rockhurst University library complies with all applicable copyright laws and related guidelines. Library staff are not copyright authoritites and do not give recommendations beyond the resources that are provided in this guide. Rockhurst University counsel should be consulted for final authority on copyright compliance. Contact with legal counsel can be made through the Deans of the schools, the Vice President for Academic Affairs, and the Human Resources Department.
Use of the university's network and computers is the responsibility of the university Computer Services department. Information on computer use at Rockhurst can be found on the Computer Services Help Desk website.