Many common campus activities involve copyright, and so it is critical that all Stanford faculty, students and staff have a working understanding of copyright law as it impacts their daily lives. The Stanford University Libraries provide this Copyright Reminder to ensure that all members of the Stanford community have access to that critical information. The Copyright Reminder highlights common campus copyright concerns, and outlines the fundamental elements of US copyright law that apply in those situations.
The owner of a lawfully obtained copy of a copyrighted work may dispose of that copy (lend, rent, sell, give-away, or throw away) without permission of the copyright owner. Under the first-sale doctrine, a faculty member could lend out his copy of a book or a DVD to students in his class. This exception does not apply to recorded music, and many software licenses prohibit the use of the first-sale doctrine.