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Copyright Reminder

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.

Link to it

Linking is not copying!  It is generally acceptable to point others to material posted on the Internet by providing a link to the website.  The link itself is not a copy of the content--it is merely a direction to content.  Because the link provider is not making copies, linking is generally outside the boundaries of copyright law.  The exception is that it could be contributory infringement to provide a link to a website knowingly hosting copyrighted material unlawfully. So, link to publishing sources directly, such as journals or newspapers.

In most cases, you can provide direct links to licensed material such as journal articles to others who have access to material under the same license.  This is particularly useful in CourseWork and other course management systems, where most participants in the class will have access to the full suite of material licensed by the library.  Faculty can provide links to readings, and won’t have to worry about the license fees that would be required if those readings were uploaded to the system.