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.
Exercise caution when downloading and uploading
Be mindful of copyright when downloading material from the Internet. Just because a work is posted on the Internet does not mean that the owner of the copyright in it has given you permission to make copies or distribute the work to others. Note, too, that material may have been placed on the Internet without the author’s permission. Fair use principles (see below) may apply, but you need to go through a fair use assessment to decide that.
Similar concerns apply when uploading material to the Internet. It might be perfectly acceptable under the fair use doctrine to include graphs from various articles in a paper written for class; it is probably not a fair use, however, to publish those graphs to the world by posting the same paper on the Internet.