Welcome to the Copyright Center

Fundamentals of Copyright 

  • Copyright applies to nearly all creative and intellectual works. If you hear, see, read, or watch it, it is most likely copyright protected.
  • Original works in tangible form are protected under copyright with or without  copyright notice or registration. Law provides benefits if you put the copyright sign or register your work.
  • Duration
  • Works created after Jan 1, 1978 - Copyright protection is the life of the author plus 70 years. 
  • For works made for hire (author is the employing party), protection is 95 years from publication or 120 years from creation whichever is lesser.
  • Works created 1923-1977 – Maximum copyright protection is 95 years.
  • Public Domain. 
  • Works in public domain lack copyright protection. 

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General Terms
Plagiarism – Using somebody’s works without giving the author credit. Unintentional plagiarism occurs when the author of the work is not cited or given appropriate credit; intentional plagiarism occurs when one person intentionally steals someone else’s work.  Avoid plagiarism by citing works borrowed. (Butler, p. 55)
License - A license is an agreement between the seller and the purchaser which can either be a physical or virtual document granting limited and nonexclusive rights to the purchaser use the material for specified purposes for a fixed duration of time. The license defines the way by which the copyrighted works can be used.  (Butler, p. 40) 
Copyright terms, definitions, and procedures


Additional Assistance

  • Copyright Information Officer - Cynthia Helms - 269-471-6260
  • Compliance Officer - Ethan Jones - 269-471-6515
  • University General Counsel - Brent Gearty - 269-471-6530

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Berrien Springs, Michigan 49104