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Copyright and Intellectual Property Toolkit

Notes & Disclaimer

This guide is a toolkit for answering questions about copyright and intellectual property. 

If you have a question about using a particular item in your work, please click on the "Can I Use It?" tabs which contain information about fair use, public domain, and licenses.

In addition to Occidental's formal policies on intellectual property and copyright compliance for its employees, please see the guidance put forth by Information Resources.

The recommendations and resources presented in this guide are not meant to offer legal advice but rather to guide and inform as you investigate copyright and other intellectual property concerns. Only a lawyer knowledgeable about copyright and intellectual property issues can provide you with legal advice.

Help topics

Libraries often deal with copyright and other intellectual property issues, whether on behalf of their communities (faculty, students, staff, other patrons) or in their day-to-day operations.

If you have questions about copyright in any of the following areas or activities, we can help. 

  • Using the works of others (such as articles, reports, or books) for a paper or a research project
  • Photocopying articles or book chapters
  • Using materials on course reserves
  • Listening to, playing, or downloading music
  • Using the contents found in databases (which are licensed for use by the Oxy community)
  • Showing films or performing music
  • Reusing images found in library collections, whether in print or online
  • Borrowing materials from other libraries

See also the FAQs regarding Using Copyright in the Classroom and Using Online Material.


Credit for this Guide

This guide was originally created by John Barnett, revised and updated by Lauren B. Collister and Jonah McAllister-Erickson, University of Pittsburgh. Some parts of this guide were borrowed from Christopher Lemery's Patent Guide. Additional revisions by Kristin Peace, Occidental College.

Creative Commons - Attribution iconThis guide and its content are licensed under a Creative Commons - Attribution 4.0 license. You are free to reuse and adapt the content of this guide as long as you give credit to the original creators.