Introduction to Copyright


This is a brief guide to your rights and responsibilities under the law. It is for information purposes only and should not be considered legal advice or a substitute for obtaining legal counsel.

Copyright Symposium Presentation

Guest Lecture Mr. Ieuan Mahony talks about copyright and intellectual property issues. Mr. Mahony is a Boston-based attorney who is the Technology Partner of Holland & Knight, one of the 15 largest law firms in the world.


It is important to manage rights appropriately if you use or create copyrighted materials. Without rights management scholars risk legal liability and the inability to use copyrighted materials -- possibly including their own scholarly produced materials.

Universities have traditionally relied upon Fair Use to guide their use of copyrighted materials.  The TEACH Act was passed in 2002 to address deficiencies in the copyright law regarding the educational use of copyrighted digital materials. Scholars now have the opportunity to use either Fair Use or the TEACH Act to govern their use of resources. 

One automatically owns the copyright to the things that one creates, unless it is a work done for hire. Staff work is considered to be work done for hire. Cal Poly Pomona faculty keep the right to the work they create at Cal Poly Pomona under their collective bargaining agreement. Student copyright is less clear, but students may usually keep the rights to what they create.

Learn more about

Using copyrighted materials

Managing your copyrights