General Information

The Copyright Management unit of Steely Library is responsible for insuring that all materials available via reserves, SourceFinder, and the library's distance learning resources are in compliance with the United States copyright laws.

What is Copyright?

Copyright provides to an author or copyright holder protection (exclusive rights) for his/her intellectual property. This right is granted to United States citizens in Article I Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution. Congress did this to promote the progress of science and the useful arts. The most outstanding of these exclusive rights are the rights to reproduce, distribute, display and make derivative works. [Full coverage of the copyright laws]

In order for progress to continue, others, as well as the author or copyright holder, have to be able to use these works. To this end, limitations on exclusive rights have been codified by Congress. These limitations include:

  • Fair use
  • Reproduction by libraries and archives
  • Effect of transfer of particular copy or phonorecord
  • Exemption of certain performances and displays
  • Secondary transmissions
  • Ephemeral recordings

NKU Copyright Policies

Northern Kentucky University is committed to compliance with the United States Copyright Revision Act of 1976, as amended (Title 17 United States Code, Section 101 et seq.) relating to reproduction of copyrighted materials.

The University's Copyright Policy is stated in the "Faculty Policies and Procedures Handbook."

The University Intellectual Property Policy is posted at the website of the NKU Office of Research, Grants, and Contracts.

Obtaining Copyright Permissions

If materials copied or distributed by Steely Library do not fall within one of the exempted categories, permission to use the material must be obtained from the copyright holder. A fee may be required before this permission is granted. Fees can range from a few dollars to over one hundred dollars; the cost is entirely at the discretion of the rights holder.

The library will obtain copyright permissions for NKU faculty and instructors.

The library will also provide assistance for instructors who wish to obtain permissions for themselves.

(Need to add the copyright symbol, ©, to a web page? Don't use Alt+0169 [which is fine in a word processor], use ©.)

Copyright Tutorials

To find out how copyright affects teaching and learning in today's digital environment, Steely Library offers Copyright for the Classroom and the Digital World, an online tutorial for faculty and staff. Topics include using copyrighted materials in the classroom, assessing risks, requesting permissions, protecting your copyrights, and copyright-related services at Steely Library.

Steely Library phone number:  859.572.5457