What You Need to Know
  • If you reproduce, republish or redistribute something produced by someone else without the copyright holder’s permission, there’s a good chance that you are violating copyright law.
  • Copyright is granted automatically. Registration and notice are recommended but no longer generally required by U.S. law.
  • Publicly available information such as material posted on the Internet is not necessarily free from copyright protection. Registration is required prior to filing suit for infringement.
  • Copyright infringement can result in court-ordered damages ranging from $250 to $150,000, plus attorney’s fees, for each act of infringement. If the infringement is considered "criminal copyright infringement," it can result in fines and jail time.
  • The Copyright Act includes specific provisions for the use of copyright-protected materials by academic institutions.