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Copyright: How Do I...?

This guide is a copyright and 508/ADA compliance resource for APUS faculty and students.

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Keep up-to-date on current issues regarding intellectual property law!

Obtain a copyright?

Are you interested in copyrighting your own creative works?

You own the copyright on your creative works (excluding works-for-hire) as soon as you put your intellectual property into a tangible form. This includes (but is not limited to) recording audiovisual works, taking a photograph, drawing something on paper, or writing/typing something by hand or digitally.

If you'd like to be able to take legal action and sue for monetary gain in the event your copyright is infringed upon, you MUST obtain a copyright with the US Copyright Office via the link below. For a small fee, you can ensure that your work is protected.

Obtain Copyright Permissions?

If you are interested in using a copyrighted work in your classroom, the first step is to contact APUS copyright staff by emailing We will go about pursuing permissons in one of two ways:

  • First, we will check to see if the work is available for licensing via the Copyright Clearance Center. If so, we will weigh the cost of the license against the current cost of materials for your course. If the cost is deemed acceptable, we will purchase a license and provide faculty with the terms of the license.


  • If the work is not available via the Copyright Clearance Center (CCC), we will attempt to contact the copyright  holder. Keep in mind that the CCC only provides licenses for written creative works, not multimedia or images. The copyright holder may or may not approve APUS' use of the work. If approved, we will then weigh the cost of licensing the materials agaist the current cost of materials for the course. If the cost is deemed appropriate, we will purchase a license and then provide faculty with the terms of the license.


Request a Copyright/508 Compliance Review of my Course?

Copyright staff at APUS regularly audit APUS classrooms for copyright/508 compliance. In addition to our daily reviews, faculty can also request a review of a specific course!

Options for reviews are as follows:

  1. Email to request a review of an entire classroom. Be sure to specify the course number, and section that you would like reviewed. Staff are capable of reviewing both Model Sites and active classrooms.
  2. Email to request a review of a list of course materials. Be sure to include all materials that will be included in the classroom, including multimedia. A bibliography or syllabus is preferred.
  3. Email  to request a review of a specific item that you would like to use in your classroom. We answer queries for single items all day, every day!

Please keep in mind that Copyright Staff generally require a 90 day lead time for completing reviews of materials lists and classrooms.

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