Copyright Basics Tutorial

Main Content

Hey, have you ever wondered what copyright is all about and how it applies to you and the situations you may come across? For example …

  • Is copying the sheet music for my singing group for an upcoming performance legal?
  • Is downloading music recordings from the internet legal?
  • Is making a complete copy of an "out of print" book OK?
  • How can I protect and enforce my own copyright for something I have authored/created?
  • How does one come to "own" a copyright of their creative work?
  • Is making a digital copy of a film/video/music/photograph/text/game/software legal? Is the answer any different for personal use only? For making copies for family/friends? For educational use? For uploading, for P2P file sharing, or open public access?

This tutorial will teach you the basics of copyright law, fair use, and the copyright/licensing issues involved in using a wide variety of materials protected by copyright in your many situations. By the end of this course, you will:

  1. Increase your knowledge and understanding of copyright and licensing issues; and know what it means to say that someone owns the copyright to a creative work.
  2. Learn more about why copyright law exists and where it all started (the history of copyright).
  3. Know how to resolve basic copyright/licensing questions and when, and who to ask for more help.
  4. Realize and respect the ethical/moral aspects involved in using materials protected by copyright.
  5. Be able to answer a variety of copyright questions

This tutorial contains the following modules:

Introduction and Welcome: Course overview (where you are now)

Module 1: What copyright is and when it is appropriate to seek permission for use of materials protected by copyright.

Module 2: Fair Use and other allowances (exemptions) for using materials protected by copyright without requesting permission.

Use the navigation box at the right to choose the video or module you want.

About This Tutorial

This Copyright Basics Tutorial is primarily for educating SIU faculty, staff, and students about copyright law and how it relates to them. But you don’t have to be SIU-affiliated to take this online mini course.

This tutorial was adapted from Brigham Young University's Copyright online tutorial with their permission. We want to give them our sincere thanks.

Further Information for SIU Carbondale Campus Faculty

For information about intellectual property and technology transfer policies affecting SIU Carbondale campus faculty, please contact the SIU System’s Office of Technology Transfer and see the following: