Making Copyright Decisions
The University's copyright policy applies to everyone. While copyright investigation, clearance, and support services are available, final judgment rests with each individual.
If you answer YES to these questions, proceed with use.
- Is the content in the public domain?
- Is the content owned by the individual faculty member who wants to use it?
- Was the content created by Princeton University staff?
- Does the University (or faculty member) have a license of the use of the content?
- Does the faculty member have written permission to use the content?
If you answer NO or UNKNOWN to the questions, then consider other options.
- Find an alternative source of content.
- Determine if the use is a fair use.
- Secure permission.
- Seek advice on copyright status.
Additional information for...
Faculty are affected by copyright law in multiple ways. As creators of information, faculty need to be aware of the ramifications of retaining or giving away their own copyright to academic publishers. In the classroom and planning course readings for reserves, they need to think about the rights granted by fair use. In the largely digital environment we operate in, copyright and fair use are being interpreted in new ways.
Further information for Faculty:
Staff at Princeton play key roles in both creating copyrighted material that supports the University, and in using copyrighted materials of others to advance teaching and research. Whether you are a creator or a user of copyrighted materials, it is important to understand the key legal concepts of copyright. The creator or the employer is ordinarily the owner of a work, but owners can transfer some or all of the rights to a work.
The University wants to support students in becoming responsible creators and users of intellectual property. Whether you are a creator or a user of copyrighted materials, it is important to understand the key legal concepts of copyright.