Even though you can access it, download it, share it, post it, or change it -- it may still be illegal. Understand your rights as a creator, and the rights of those whose work you'd like to use.


© copyright 

® registered trademark

Not all copyrighted material will have these symbols or information on the copyright.  Unless the material specifically gives permission to copy/download and use, you must assume that you cannot.

Copyright Guidelines at a Glance (pdf) provides an easy to read chart describing the usage rights for images, websites, music, video, etc...


Copyright:  Copyright is the law that protects authors or creators of "original works of authorship," including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic and other intellectual works. It allows the author to decide how, when, and where their work can be reproduced and used.

    Fair Use:  Fair Use is one means by which copyrighted works can be used under certain circumstances without first obtaining permission of the copyright holder. Fair Use is limited, but flexible, and is commonly used in educational settings.  The "fair use" provision of copyright law isn't a simple yes or no.  There are four factors you should use to evaluate whether a use qualifies as fair:

    1. Purpose and character:  Does it have a nonprofit, educational purpose?
    2. Nature of the copyrighted work:  What kind of material do you want to use?  Fiction/nonfiction?  Published/unpublished?
    3. Amount used:  Are you using a small portion of the copyrighted work?
    4. Market effect:  Will your use deprive the author from making money?

    Public Domain:  Works in the public domain are not protected by copyright, so you can use them freely.  This includes

    • All works published in the US before 1923 
    • Works by the US Government or created by its employees as part of their job
    Piracy:  Piracy includes downloading music, copying software, downloading games, downloading and/or copying movies and much more. It is anytime you download or copy copyrighted materials without the author's/creator's permission and it is ILLEGAL. Piracy is stealing. It is that simple. The Internet has made it very easy to take these things, but just because you you can doesn't make it right (or legal).


    Your work (research papers, poetry, stories, lyrics, photos, artwork, music, website, etc.) is copyright protected as soon as it is created and in a tangible form of expression.  It does not have to be published or registered with the copyright office to be protected. 

    With that being said, the links below will give you more information on how to protect your work. Note: Copyright laws vary by country; however, they are quite similar with very few differences.

    GSIS Library

    7:30 AM to 3:20 PM
    Tuesday - Friday
    7:30 AM to 5:00 PM

    Ms. Caron, MLIS

    Ms. Kim, MLIS