U. S. copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code) prohibits the unauthorized reproduction or distribution of copyrighted materials, except as permitted by the principles of “fair use”. Users may not copy or distribute electronic materials (including electronic mail, text, images, programs, or data) without the explicit permission of the copyright holder. Any responsibility for any consequences of copyright infringement lies with the user; the Learning Resources Center (Library) expressly disclaims any liability or responsibility resulting from such use. The Library expressly disclaims any liability or responsibility arising from access to or use of information obtained through its electronic information systems, or any consequences thereof.
"A form of protection provided by the laws of the United States for 'original works of authorship', including literary, dramatic, musical, architectural, cartographic, choreographic, pantomimic, pictorial, graphic, sculptural, and audiovisual creations. 'Copyright' literally means the right to copy but has come to mean that body of exclusive rights granted by law to copyright owners for protection of their work. " 
This means you cannot make photocopies or print out or distribute (in print or electronically or any other form) something that was written or recorded or otherwise created by someone else.
 U.S. Copyright Office. (n.d.) U.S. Copyright Office definitions. Retrieved from https://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/definitions.html
 U.S. Copyright Office. (n.d.) Definitions. Retrieved from https://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-definitions.html
 U.S. Copyright Office. (n.d.) Chapter 1: Subject matter and scope of copyright: 107. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use. Retrieved from https://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html#107
Students should always cite their sources in papers and projects, even when using items that are not under copyright, such as public domain items.
Works with Creative Commons Licenses
There are four criteria you must consider to determine whether your intended use of a copyrighted item is "fair use." Students should click the link below and evaluate their intended use according to the four guildelines before doing things like photocopying a portion of a book or printing a journal article from a database.