Copyright

Take home message: Copyright is a form of legal protection that allows authors, photographers, composers, and other creators to control some reproduction, distribution and use of their work. When we use the work of others, we must ensure we respect their rights and use their work lawfully. Particularly if you are involved in teaching, make sure you understand the legal limits of how you can and cannot use or hand out materials in your classes.

U-M Policy and helpful links

  • The University Copyright Office, within the U-M Library, exists to help all faculty, staff and students navigate the world of copyright. Their Copyright website contains a lot of information about using copyrighted materials, fair use (such as for educational purposes), requesting permission to use content, U-M held copyright and file sharing.
  • If you are involved in teaching: refresh yourself on the legal limits of how you can and cannot use or hand out materials in your classes (or post them on CTools) by reviewing the Copyright Office’s page on using copyrighted materials.
  • More detailed information about copyright basics, file sharing, responding to allegations of copyright infringement, and U-M’s policies and copyright management systems, is contained on our Copyright compliance page within the Information Management section of this website.

Things to remember

  • Whether you are an author, a professor, or a student, many occasions will arise when you want to use the copyrighted works of others. It is crucial that you know how to determine whether a work is copyrighted, what fair use means, and how to work out whether permission is required to use something: see the Copyright Website for details.
  • If you are involved in teaching, make sure you understand the legal limits of how you can and cannot use or hand out materials in your classes. The Copyright Website page on using copyrighted materials includes many FAQs related to classroom use of materials. You can read more on the sites recommended by the Copyright Office on their links page. The Campus Legal Information Clearinghouse, hosted by the Catholic University of America, also has an extensive set of resources on copyright.
  • Copyright is only one of many compliance issues that could arise in the classroom: see our Classroom Teaching overview for more information.
  • It is important that the University respond quickly to any allegations that it has infringed someone else’s copyright. For more information, see our more detailed Copyright compliance page within the Information Management section of this website.

People to talk to

The U-M Copyright Office is always available to answer questions about copyright – e-mail them, or call them on (734) 764-9356, or drop by during their open consultation hours.

U-M Dearborn and U-M Flint faculty and staff are always welcome to contact the Ann Arbor Copyright Office; but in addition, the Mardigan Library at U-M Dearborn provides links and resources relating to copyright for the Dearborn campus.

For potential violations of copyright by the University in digital media, including on U-M web sites, contact the University’s Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) agent (dmca.notices@umich.edu). For non-digital copyright infringement allegations, contact Jack Bernard in the Office of the General Counsel.

For legal assistance or advice relating to copyright, contact Jack Bernard in the Office of the General Counsel.


Established 3/4/11, last updated 2/23/17 – Contact us if you believe any information is incorrect or outdated