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This pathfinder contains resources for library and information science students to begin research on the topic of copyright. Copyright falls under the legal regulations, known as intellectual-property law, that govern an individual's or organization's right to use or disseminate ideas or information. Copyright deals specifically with the rights granted to a creator, publisher, or other owner of original content to reproduce, adapt, or distribute said content. This subject guide includes a brief history on copyright law in the United States and resources to assist the user in performing basic research on the topic as related to librarianship.

Definitions of terms related to copyright:
copyleft agreements: an alternative to placing works in the public domain or under traditional copyright laws; works can be modified as long as derivative works retain the same restrictions stipulated by the author of the original work.
digital rights management (DRM): technological mechanisms to prevent content from being copied or shared over networks.
fair use doctrine: permits moderate use of copyrighted materials for education, news reporting, parody, criticism, and even home consumption in some cases as long as the use does not detract from the market value of the work.
intellectual-property law: legal regulations that govern an individual's or organization's right to use or disseminate ideas or information; encompasses copyright, patent, and trademark laws.
orphan works: copyrighted works whose owners are difficult or impossible to find.
public domain: legal status of a work that is not copyrighted by choice of owner or expiration of copyright term; anyone can use the work in any way they choose without  cost.