The University 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 of Colorado Boulder 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.

Fair Use

Fair Use is the use of copyrighted content without the expressed permission of the copyright holder. Whether a use is considered Fair Use is determined on a case by case basis. There is no “bright line” universal rule for what constitutes Fair Use.

Four factors are used to analyze whether a use is Fair Use:

  • The purpose and character of use, including whether the use is for commercial or noncommercial purposes;
  • The nature of the copyrighted work;
  • The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole;
  • The effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

See the ARL Code of Best Practices for examples of Fair Use in higher education.

Fair Use Resources

University Counsel Copyright Statement for Employees

University Employees (faculty members and staff) are responsible for understanding and adhering to copyright law in creating works, including scholarly and artistic works, to which they hold the copyright individually under the Regent Policy on Intellectual Property that is Educational Material. University employees who violate copyright law may be personally liable for such violations. The University generally will not provide a defense against copyright infringement litigation if the claim involves a work created outside of the employee's specifically assigned job duties. In addition, University employees who willfully violate copyright law may be subject to disciplinary action for violation of campus or departmental policies. Learn more about the policy.

Copyrighting Your Own Work

In the United States, a work is protected by copyright as soon as it is "fixed in a tangible medium," (assuming it is an original expression). Copyright registration of works created within the United States is not required for protection, but the author/creator may wish to officially register the work with the U.S. Copyright Office, as registration is necessary before you can bring a suit of copyright infringement, and timely registration gives you the right to claim statutory damages in an infringement suit.

You may also wish to consider licensing your work instead through the Creative Commons. A Commons license allows you to decide which rights you will keep and under what conditions you will allow others to use your work freely.

Visit Obtain Copyright Permission for more information about using copyright materials.

University Marks & Licensing

All University trademarks and service marks are property of the Board of Regents. Use of the University's trademarks for commercial purposes without the prior written consent of the University may constitute trademark infringement, trademark dilution, and unfair competition in violation of federal and state laws. Use of any University trademark in commerce may be prohibited by law except by express license from the University. Learn more by viewing the licensing policy

Digital Millennium Copyright Act

Send copyright infringement reports to:

Dan Jones
Assistant Vice President and Chief Information Security Officer
University of Colorado
1800 Grant St. Ste. 745
Denver, CO 80203-1187
Telephone (303) 735-6637
FAX (303) 735-503

Send other reports of computer abuse to abuse@Colorado.EDU

For more information on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, visit the United States Copyright Office Web site.

For copyright help, email