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Information in this page has NOT been reviewed by legal counsel. Please see disclaimer.

User Responsibilities

The University of Connecticut Libraries provide high quality collections and information services in support of the University’s research and educational missions.  In their endeavors, the University Libraries are committed to compliance with intellectual property law and the preservation of the rights of copyright owners and users of copyrighted materials. The University Libraries also seek to ensure that members of the university community know their rights and responsibilities under the provisions of the U.S. copyright law (17 U.S.C. Section 101 et seq.), and are able to apply them regarding their use of copyrighted works. Accordingly, the University Libraries recommend that users

  • Know and understand university policies as they apply to copyright, intellectual property and related areas.

  • Know and understand U.S. copyright law as it applies to the desired use of copyrighted material.

  • Take full advantage of exceptions in the law.

  • Apply the four factors of fair use in good faith and document the process for future reference.

  • Request, use, and/or reproduce only the needed amount of a copyrighted work when claiming fair use.

  • Be mindful of downstream uses of copyrighted materials.  Exceptions for educational settings do not always carry over if you publish, perform, or otherwise make a copyrighted work available to others—even just a few others.

  • Engage in file sharing, forwarding, and downloading materials only when you know their copyright status and have a reasonable expectation that the sharing is allowed by law.

  • Be aware that not all educational uses are fair uses.

  • Know that contractual and licensing agreements take precedence over copyright law, often imposing greater restrictions. For example, commercial music download services, electronic journals, and other online services are often governed by contracts that specify permitted and restricted uses.

  • Request and pay for permissions as needed.

  • Seek additional information and/or legal advice when unsure about using copyrighted material.
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