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Course & Subject Guides

Copyright and Intellectual Property Toolkit

Here you can find information, resources, and tools to address copyright issues and concerns in research and teaching.

Using Copyrighted Works

The question most scholars ask is whether they can use a copyrighted item in their work. 

This section of this Copyright guide is designed to help you answer that question. Follow the flow chart to the right. For more information about each component, click on the down arrow next to the Can I Use It? tab above, or follow these links:

Copyright definitions

Public Domain


Fair Use

Requesting Permission

Copyright and Showing Films and Videos

When you want to perform, display, or show a film, video, or TV program for teaching, training, or entertainment, you have to consider the rights of the those who own the copyright to the work you want to use. 

These are called Public Performance Rights, and they apply to your use of recorded materials in the classroom, at screenings, film festivals, and other academic uses. For information on Public Performance Rights, visit our website on Showing Films, Videos, and TV Programs

Copyright and Library Materials

The University Library System (ULS) encourages the appropriate use of public domain materials and the fair use of copyrighted materials in our collections. To read more about the use of materials and properly citing them in teaching, research, publication, education, presentation, and other scholarly endeavors, visit our Copyright and Library Materials website

Can I Use It?

When thinking through using copyrighted works, the following flow chart (originally created by the University of Minnesota Libraries) can help you get started. 


Flow chart illustrating the process of understanding whether to make a Fair Use argument or seek permission.