Skip to main content

Copyright: Copyright for Staff

Information about copyright and how it affects your teaching, research, and learning at Davidson

When you should think about copyright

Since many items created in the United States have automatic copyright protection, you should be aware of copyright every time you use materials created by someone else.  Here are some examples:

  • Posting materials in Moodle
  • Providing course reserves to students
  • Giving handouts to students in a class
  • Sharing an article via email with colleagues, family, and friends
  • Distributing copies of an article at a meeting
  • Putting an image into a paper or presentation
  • Posting an image or article on a blog or website
  • Showing a video to a class or other campus group
  • Printing an item in an anthology

Remember:  you can use something for educational purposes and still be in violation of the law! 


It is important to understand copyright because it affects your work at Davidson College.  You can use something for educational purposes and still be responsible for copyright infringement.  Information about how you can use works legally is listed in this guide.

Annual copyright license

Do you need to make copies to distribute at a meeting or for a coursepack?  Copyright law applies!

Fortunately, the College has an Annual Academic License with the Copyright Clearance Center that covers many materials for precisely these uses.  Learn more about the license in our guide.

Is the item you want to use not covered by the license?  Learn more about the fair use copyright exemption.


This site is intended for informational purposes only.  Library staff members cannot give legal advice.  For legal advice, you should contact an intellectual property attorney.

Questions? Need help? Ask a Librarian
Davidson College Library, Box 7200, 209 Ridge Rd., Davidson, NC 28035-7200
Creative Commons license logo for CC by-sa 4.0
This Davidson College Library Research Guides are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
All box-title icons from Entypo pictograms by Daniel Bruce —