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Copyright Essentials

An introduction to copyright issues for the NMSU community.

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Copyright and the University

Copyright law attempts to strike a balance between protecting the rights of authors/creators and protecting the need for public access to information and ideas.

The work of the University involves accessing, building upon, and sharing information in order to create new knowledge. Thus, copyright affects much of what we do, for example:

  • showing a film in a face-to-face class
  • compiling readings for an online class
  • sharing with your colleagues a journal article you have written
  • performing a piece of music you have written
  • getting permission to use images for your dissertation
  • designing a multimedia work based on other works
  • determining who "owns" a course you have created

This guide is designed as a basic informational resource for the NMSU community. It is not a substitute for legal advice, but it does provide a framework for understanding and working with legal issues, including lawfully using and sharing copyrighted works, as well as protecting our own creative works.

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