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Copyright Confusion

by Lindsey Gumb, Instructional Technology Librarian


Imagine this scenario: you find the perfect image to include in a presentation, lecture or paper, but you can’t track down the source for your citation. Or maybe you’re unsure whether or not the usage will qualify under one of the copyright law’s exception clauses. You start asking around and become inundated with terms like “public domain,” “fair use,” “TEACH Act,” and “creative commons,” but you really aren’t sure what they mean and how they might apply to your scenario. Under these confusing circumstances, many students (and some scholars) get frustrated and lose sight of the standards of academic integrity that we hold so dear in academia.

Can we make a suggestion? Take a deep breath, stop pulling at your hair, and call the library! As librarians, we understand the frustrations that come along with copyright, and we’re here to support the Roger Williams University community in sorting through these issues. Whether you’re a student with questions about finding copyright-free images for a project or presentation, or a faculty member needing help with reserves and providing online resources for your course in Bridges, we’re here to lend a helping hand. Every situation is different, and requires an individual analysis, so we ask for your patience in receiving a response! Please call or email the reference desk, and you will be forwarded to a librarian that can help you.



Also, be sure to check out our Copyright Libguide to get you started.