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The resources listed here explain copyright rights, duration of protection and how to use copyright-protected works. This guide is intended for teachers, students and librarians.

Sharing Your Work

If you'd like to share your work with others, consider assigning a Creative Commons License to your work.  This allows users to build upon your work easily and freely.  And you won't need to explain and negotiate permissions.  If you simply attach any of these license terms to your work, others will know instantly what types of uses you allow at no cost.  It's all up to you!

   BY = attribution required

   BY NC = attribution required;  noncommercial uses only 

   BY ND = attribution required;  no derivative uses

  BY SA = attribution required; "share alike" - meaning anyone who uses your work must share their resulting work with the same Commons license

  BY NC SA = attribution required; no commercial uses; share alike

  BY NC ND = attribution required; no commercial uses; no derivative uses

The most open option available is CC0.

CC0   CC0 = all rights relinquished to the extent possible by law


Registering Your Copyright and Providing Notice

You've created a copyrightable work!  Now, how do you protect it?  US law protects works from their creation.  You do not need to do anything other than create a protectable work to have copyright protection. 


Nevertheless, registering your work with the U.S. Copyright Office offers advantages.  Since Copyright Office records are searchable, registration creates a public record of your work's ownership and date of creation.  This way, people interested in your work will know that you own the copyright.  Second, registration is a prerequisite to a civil infringement action, should someone infringe your work.  Also, you may be eligible for greater damages in the case of infringement if your work is registered. 


You can register your work using this US Copyright Office online registration system.  Note that online registration costs $35 for a single application and requires a deposit of a copy of your work.


Regardless of whether you register your work with the US Copyright Office, consider providing notice that you are the copyright owner.  This is the recommended format for copyright notice:

"©" or "Copyright" or "Copyr."      DATE OF FIRST PUBLICATION     OWNER'S NAME

For example, © 2007 James Bond