1304 Joyner Library
East Carolina University
Greenville, NC 27858
Welcome to the ECU Copyright Guide
ECU faculty, staff, and students have a responsibility to use materials in compliance with US Copyright law. To assist with compliance, this guide has been created with advice on frequently ask questions and links to further resources and help from ECU's Copyright Officer. Of particular note, consult the following.
- ECU released a new Copyright Regulation in 2013. This replaces the former policy from the Faculty Manual.
- The University of North Carolina system has a Copyright Policy.
- The ECU Office of Technology Transfer has posted an intermediate level document, Copyright Basics, written by the Copyright Taskforce of the University of North Carolina.
- U.S. Copyright law and court cases interpreting it supersede these policies if there is a conflict.
Copyright law might seem vague. This is because the law is written broadly and refined by court cases, so there might only be general principles to follow rather than a definitive “right or wrong” answer. With the easy ability to photocopy, scan, duplicate, rip, and save all manner of materials, it often seems that since something can be copied without asking permission that doing so must be okay. This simply is not the case. It is important for you to understand the basics of copyright law and how to obtain permission to use other people's works - just as you might want your works to be protected.
The information in this guide is provided to help provide a basic understanding about U.S. Copyright. This guide is not intended to provide legal advice. Only the ECU Attorney’s office can provide legal advice on behalf of the University. Questions regarding personal legal issues should be directed to private counsel.
Copyright Officer Services
Guidance on what constitutes fair use for classroom and publishing
Assistance obtaining copyright permissions
Consultation with students completing a thesis or dissertation
Help understanding publishing agreements
Determination of ECU or personal ownership of work
Assistance with legal resources for advanced questions
Presentations to classes, departments, & student groups