Digital dissertations and theses, as well as ePorftolios, can have special copyright concerns, because they are often freely accessible on the internet. Carefully review the requirements of the BGSU Graduate College and the OhioLINK ETD, as well as the copyright restrictions on any images before digitally publishing your dissertation.
United States copyright law is contained within Title 17 of the United States Code. Copyright protection applies to "original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression" (recorded, saved to a hard drive, written down, etc.). The law specifies eight protected categories:
The law also grants exclusive rights to copyright holders (Section 106). You've likely heard these referred to as a bundle of rights. They include the rights to:
While copyright holders have exclusive rights to determine how their works are reproduced, distributed, displayed, and performed, there are exceptions to those rights in the law. One major exception is the doctrine of fair use (Section 107).
Individuals who'd like to use a copyrighted work for "purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research" can use the following four factors to determine if their proposed use favors fair use or warrants permission from the copyright holder: