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Guide to Copyright

For Assistance:

Sherry Mahnken
Research Librarian, College of Arts, Sciences, and Education
(573) 341-7843
Michael Lewis
Research Librarian, College of Engineering and Computing
(573) 341-7839
Georgette Nicolosi
Research Librarian, Kummer College of Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Economic Development
(573) 341-4228
Roger Weaver
Director, Scholarly Communications
(573) 341-4221

Nothing in this guide is to be construed as legal advice. These pages are intended to provide information and guidance in the application of copyright law and to expand on the University of Missouri System Collected Rules and Regulations.

Creative Commons License

The text contained in the guide is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 United States License.
The Gold Men Images used in this guide are licensed for use from shutterstock and are protected by U.S. Copyright. They may not be used or downloaded with out permission.
Photographs of individuals are protected by U.S. Copyright and may not be used or downloaded without permission.


"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." (Article I, Section 8, Clause 8 of the United States Constitution)

  • Copyright law in the United States is rooted in the desire to capture and leverage expressions of new ideas.
  • Copyright law recognizes that the impetus to create is based on the ability to access already existing expressions of intellectual creativity and use them as platforms upon which we create anew.
  • Copyright law also provides mechanisms that allow us to use existing expressions of ideas to voice opinion, criticism, and dissent.


Frequently Asked Questions


This tool by the American Library Association will help you find out if a work is covered by U.S. copyright, calculate its terms of protection, and collect and publish the results (as a PDF) to save for your records or further vet with a copyright specialist.