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Copyright & Educational Fair Use

This guide is a resource on copyright and fair use compliance for students, staff, and faculty at Nebraska Methodist College. It is intended to provide general information and does not constitute legal advice.


Welcome to John Moritz Library's Copyright & Educational Fair Use LibGuide. This resource is designed to provide educators information on copyright and related topics that is concise, well-organized, and easy to navigate. The information provided here does not purport to supply legal advice nor is it intended to replace the advice of legal counsel.

"Everyone tries to define this thing called character. It's not hard. Character is doing what's right when nobody's lookin'." ..... J. C. Watts

Copyright Law

Copyright law governs who may use original works of authorship and how such works may be used. Copyright law is rooted in the United States Constitution’s Copyright Clause (Article I, section 8, clause 8) which describes the power of Congress 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." The Copyright Law of the United States is contained in Title 17 of the United States Code.

Given that the advancement of knowledge is inherent to copyright, there are specific limitations to the rights of copyright holders. At the same time, anyone wishing to use someone else's intellectual work (for example, in a paper or other publication; as a classroom handout; or even as material on a website), must respect the rights of copyright holders. The mix of rights and limitations creates a subjective and uneasy balance in copyright. The purpose of this guide is to provide information that will help educators and students alike find the correct balance.

NMC Core Values encourage and support the ethical use of information. 

We expect the best from everyone and hold ourselves to the highest ideals of personal, professional and organizational performance.

We embrace the experiential process by which knowledge, insight, understanding and ultimately wisdom are created for ourselves and those we serve.

We recognize and uphold the dignity and self-worth of every human being, and promote honest and forthright interpersonal communication and behaviors.

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