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Copyright: Student Resources

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

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Copyright Clearance Center

To obtain permissions to use a copyrighted work:

US Copyright Office

The official site of the United States Copyright Office. Copyright your own creative works here:

Contact APUS Copyright Staff

Need help? Email us!

Frequently Asked Questions...

While APUS copyright staff generally support faculty and staff, we occassionally receive email queries from students. We are happy to assist students with copyright questions, and offer the following tips based on past student inquiries:

 Can I use images in my research paper or thesis?

  • Of course! If you are planning to use illustrations in a research paper, the best option is to search for images that are in the Public Domain, or published under a creative commons license. However, if suitable images cannot be found in these realms, copyrighted images may be used under Fair Use, as they are being used for the purpose of criticism, commentary, or scholarship.
  • If you have an opportunity to have your work published, you would then need to pursue permissions to use any copyrighted images. Academic publications often require that authors undergo this task themselves, but some do offer assistance in obtaining rights. For this reason, it is important to make note of where you find images.

Can I use videos in classroom forums?

  •  Yes. The use of multimedia for discussion in classrooms is encouraged. However, we do encourage linking to videos, rather than embedding videos in the classroom. Of course, any video you produce yourself is yours to do with as you please.

What's the difference between copyright infringement and plagiarism?

  • Copyright infringement is a legal issue, while plagiarism is a moral issue. When talking about research papers, it is possible for an entire paper to be plagiarized without copyright infringement occurring.
  • For example: if a student were to take one-page excerpts from ten different books and combine them together into one, ten-page paper, the student has committed plagiarism, but has not infringed on anyone's copyright, because the excerpts from the texts were so small.
  • All of our courses require the use of Turnitin for determining plagiarism. Plagiarism is an issue that is kept between faculty and students, and is often not punishable by law.

Copyright Basics

A short video from Copyright Clearance Center:

*Video will direct to YouTube

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