Book Shelves in LibraryCopyright at the Sherratt Library

The information shared here is for informational purposes and shouldn't be construed as legal advice. For legal advice, please contact SUU's General Council.

The Gerald R. Sherratt Library works to serve the learning community of Southern Utah University (SUU). We facilitate knowledge content creation, curation, access, transmission, and innovation. We also work to educate the community and promote lawful use of copyrighted works. 

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About copyright

Copyright law attempts to balance academic and scholarly interests with commercial interests. These laws work to assure responsible copyright behavior. It is critical that faculty, staff, students, and other members of the community are informed about their responsibilities and rights.

These exclusive "bundle of rights" include the rights to make reproductions, distribute copies, perform, and display work. Also included is the right to prepare derivatives (new versions of original content, like a poetry translation). These rights may be transferred in whole, licensed collectively, or individually.

Copyright can only apply if the work is in a fixed format and displays creativity. Some works, like facts, symbols, and lists (including recipes) are not copyrightable.

If you have questions about copyright and fair use, please consult copyright basics or contact our Scholarly Communications Librarian Chris Younkin (

More copyright resources

Interlibrary Loan

Learn more about how the Sherratt Library can borrow materials from other libraries for you within copyright guidance.

Fair Use

Learn more about using and reproducing copyrighted materials in teaching and scholarship.

Reserves and Textbooks

Learn more about reproducing and placing copyrighted materials and textbooks on reserve at the Sherratt Library.

Frequently Asked Questions

It depends. Use the fair use checklist to assess whether your use of copyrighted materials would qualify. Do remember that not all educational uses are covered under the fair use exemption.

If you're interested in using copyrighted materials, learn more about fair use at SUU.Please email Scholarly Communications Librarian Christopher Clark ( with questions.

Yes, librarians are research wizards and would be happy to help you find both copyrighted and openly licensed materials to use in your course. Visit our staff page to find your subject librarian!

As with all departments and colleges, the library operates within a strict budget and must balance the interests of many stakeholders. Each subject librarian has a books and materials budget for their liaison areas; visit our staff page to find your subject librarian to see about acquiring materials.

It depends. Videos can be used in courses under specific circumstances. Linking to out to videos is legal when using services like Kanopy and YouTube. For the use of dvds and other media in courses, please contact Christopher Clark.

Anything that has been published in a fixed format is copyrighted, even if it doesn't have the symbol, including pictures. To find images for your course, use Creative Commons Search or to use Google Images select "Tools" then "Usage Rights" to see what is available for modification and reuse. In other instances, requesting permission may be required.

Remember that links are always legal. Link out to library supported materials or provide the necessary information for students to be able to find the article on their own.