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Copyright @ Whitman: Home



Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code) to the authors of “original works of authorship,” including, but not limited to literary, dramatic, musical, artistic and other works.  This protection applies to both published and unpublished works.



Purposes of use under which using a copyright work may be considered fair (Section 107).  Examples include criticism, commentary, news reporting, teaching, scholarship and research.

What Is Protected By Copyright?

According to Section 102 of Title 17, protected works include:

  • literary works
  • musical works, including any accompanying words
  • dramatic works, including any accompanying music
  • pantomimes and choreography
  • pictorial, graphic and sculptural works
  • motion pictures and other audiovisual works
  • sound recordings
  • architectural works
  • webpages
  • software code
  • email

In other words, any form of creative expression that has a fixed or tangible form.


The Copyright Policy endorsed by Whitman College, and the supporting documents from these webpages have been developed to assist the Whitman community in learning about the copyright law and making informed, careful and situation-sensitive decisions about the lawful and fair use of works created by others. While every effort has been made to present clear and accurate information, the use of this website should not substitute for legal advice.


Adapted, revised and used with permission.  With thanks to:

  • Peter Gilbert, Seeley G. Mudd Library, Lawrence University
  • Kristen LaBonte, Davidson Library, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Ruth Wallach, University of Southern California
  • Kirstin Dougan, Music & Performing Arts Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Gabriela Sontag, University of Redlands

What are the Rights Held by Copyright Holders?

  • Reproduction
  • Distribution
  • Derivative works
  • Public performance
  • Public display
  • Public performance by 'means of digital audio transmission' (applied to sound recordings only)

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