Copyright is legal protection for creative and intellectual works. Just about any fixed and tangible expression of an idea is covered by copyright, including text (such as books, articles, emails and web-based information), photographs, art, graphics, music and software. Copyright does not protect works that: lack originality (like the phone book), are in the public domain, are US government works, are facts or ideas, processes, methods, and systems described in copyrighted works.
As soon as a work is created in material or persistent form (printed, published, put on a website, recorded, filmed, etc.), it is copyrighted by the creator, and therefore protected by copyright law.
Most commonly, the creator of the work holds the copyright and therefore the exclusive right to:
Grant permission for others to use the work.
However, there are cases where these exclusive rights may have been given to the person who hired the creator or another entity.
The University of Colorado Boulder is legally required to establish policy stating that faculty, staff, students, and community members must obey all state and federal laws respecting the copyrights and trademarks of others.
The university encourages the fair use of copyrighted materials in support of its academic and research mission and strives to provide clear guidance to faculty, students and staff who wish to use copyrighted materials in their teaching and research.