Diane M. Fulkerson (University of South Florida Polytechnic Library, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0234-2.ch003
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Copyright plays an important role in not only print materials one finds in a library but also the resources accessed from off-campus through online course management systems and electronic, or e-reserves. This chapter provides an overview of copyright as it pertains to remote access of library resources.
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What is Copyright and why do we need it? Copyright was established with the Constitution of the United States (Article 1, Section 8). The provision provides copyright protection for authors and grants them the right to deny or grant permission for any reproduction, public distribution, display, performance or works derived from the original. The protections afforded to an author or creator of a work is limited and copyright law does allow exceptions for fair use and compulsory license where a set royalty is paid allowing limited use of copyrighted material providing it complies with current copyright law (United States Copyright Office, 2011a). At the time the first copyright law was passed in 1790, there were limited types of publication and mediums of publication. In the intervening 222 years, how and where materials are published has changed substantially. The way we access those publications has undergone radical change. No longer are people restricted to going to a library, bookstore or mapmaker to obtain the material or information they need.

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