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ENG 7320: Dead Girls: Copyright Information

An OER for Martha Nadell's ENG 7320: Dead Girls

Copyright, public domain, and fair use

Please consider this information when you post images in the student gallery.

From the BC Library:


What gets copyrighted? In the US, any original work is automatically copyrighted to its creator or its commissioner (e.g., an ad agency), even if it is unfinished or unpublished


What is the public domain? The public domain refers to works that are out of copyright and free to use by anyone for any purpose, including commercial. In general, works made before 1923 are in the public domain, as are many government publications (such as NASA photographs).



What is fair use? In the US, fair use is a legal doctrine that allows for limited copying of copyrighted material without obtaining permission from the owner of the work used. Fair use is designed to promote scholarship and creative expression. It allows for criticism, reviews, parodies, and more.


How fair use works: there are no exact rules to determine if something constitutes fair use or not. Fair use language is purposefully vague to leave it open for interpretation, as creative expression takes many forms.

There are different factors of fair use to be considered.


The following examples favor fair use: • using material for educational purposes or personal study • transforming the original work in a way that adds new meaning • using only a small portion of the original work • being able to articulate the use of copyrighted material by the artistic objective of the new piece • citing the source of the original work.


The following do not favor fair use: • commercial or for-profit use • transforming the original in a way that does not add new artistic meaning (such as only changing the medium, e.g., making a lithograph by copying a photograph without altering the content of the image) • copying an entire work or a small but significant part of the work (e.g. a pivotal scene in a film) • implying that incorporated elements of an existing work are original to the artist copying them • causing a loss of value or market for the original work Again, these are not the only situations to determine what favors or does not favor fair use, rather they are the elements most relevant to those making art. Emphasize the transformative factor. For artists, this may be the most crucial element in determining whether use of copyrighted work is fair or not.