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Special Collections & University Archives

Identifying and locating primary sources at Texas Wesleyan University Special Collections & University Archives

Copyright, Reproduction, and Use

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Copyright law protects unpublished as well as published materials

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Fair Use is a copyright principle that allows users of information to be able to use intellectual property while still enabling the creator to be able to own and profit from their work. If you are using an intellectual work for any of these reasons then you are more than likely to fall under the fair use and principle of copyright.

These reasons include: criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship and research.

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What counts as "fair use" of something depends on these four main factors:

  1. The Purpose and Character of Use: How have you used the work? Have you transformed the original work by adding new expression or meaning?
  2. The Nature of the Copyrighted Work: Is the work factual in nature or creative? Is it unpublished or published? Different factors about the original work will have an effect on fair use. 
  3. The Amount and Substantiality of the Portion Used: How much of the original work are you quoting, summarizing, or using? And, of the portion you are using, how much of the "substantial" idea of the work are you using?
  4. The Effect of the Use on the Original Work in the Market: Does the way you use the work deprive the copyright owner of income? Does it undermine a new or potential market for the original work?

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In some cases, the Eunice & James L. West Library is not the holder of copyright for the materials held in its collections. Therefore, Special Collections & University Archives cannot grant permission for uses of materials that fall outside of fair use. 

Permission to Publish

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Interested in publishing with materials in our collections?

Contact us for more information! 

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