Copyright for Authors, Researchers, and Scholars from the Digital Library and Archives at Virginia Tech's University Libraries

Rights of copyright holders

  1. Reproduction
  2. Modification
  3. Distribution
  4. Public performance
  5. Public display

Who owns the copyright?

  • Creators of original works
  • Creators' assignees
  • Employers: works for hire

Sample Statements of Ownership

Learn about Creative Commons through YouTube

Use Creative Commons to add your copyright notice to your ETD.

Permission to use a copyrighted work is NOT required if:

  • Work is a fact or an idea
  • Fair use
  • Work is in the public domain

A public domain work is not protected by copyright and may be freely used by everyone. A work is also in the public domain if it is a work of the US Government or the term of copyright has expired.

Tools to help determine when copyright expires:

US © Office

Copyright Information for VT

Fair Use Tools

Registering copyright

Possibly receive greater compensation, with less documentation when filing an infringement suit


Negotiate with Publishers

Do you need permission?

Publisher copyright & self-archiving policies

Sample letter to request permission

Publishers Attitudes towards ETDs