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Intellectual Property in Libraries

Intellectual Property Guidelines for Librarians

What is Intellectual Property?

THE BATTLE OF COPYRIGHT  2011 by CHRISTOPHER DOMBRES, on Flickr"The Congress shall have Power To...promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries....

Copyright is a legal right granted by the United States government to the creators of works of authorship. According to Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution, the purpose of copyright law in the United States has always been to promote the progression of knowledge by “securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries” (U.S. Const. art. I, § 8.). Literary, musical, dramatic, pantomimes, pictorial, sounds recordings, architectural and audiovisual works can have copyright protection (17 U.S.C. § 102). The creator of a work possesses the exclusive right to reproduce his or her copyrighted work, prepare derivative works, distribute copies to the public, perform his or her copyrighted work, display the copyrighted work publicly, and perform his or her work “by means of a digital audio transmission” (17 U.S.C. § 106). Although the purpose of copyright remains the same as when the first copyright act was passed in 1790, how works are protected and how creators can use copyrighted materials has changed dramatically because of changes in legislation and Supreme Court rulings.