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Services and Resources for Faculty

The Essentials of Copyright

A Guide To Copyright in the Educational Setting

The days when copyright law led an esoteric and quiet life on university campuses disappeared forever with the rise of digitization and the Internet.  If you think copyright has nothing to do with your work at UNC Charlotte, ask yourself whether you have ever posted anything to or printed anything from the Internet.  Have you ever used a photocopier, scanner, recorder or ever "borrowed" someone else's work to use in your own creation?  If so, you have used a copyrighted work, without the prior permission of the copyright holder, and your actions may or may not have been legal.

Alternately, have you ever written a paper, a letter, an email, taken a photograph or vacation video, or even drawn a picture? Congratulations!  Published or not, your work is fully protected by copyright and you are a copyright holder.

Universities both create and use works continuously, particularly as teaching materials, course reserves, and classes themselves move online.  Questions concerning copyright permeate every teaching and research activity on campus.  All projects, writings, course materials must identify and address copyright related issues first.  Doing so will save much time and energy later, especially should your use be challenged.

Our goal is to provide practical assistance in helping you through the copyright maze.  Topics include using copyrighted material in your teaching and research, both online and face-to-face; understanding who owns works created here at UNC Charlotte; fair use; plagiarism; permissions; the TEACH Act; digitizing materials; managing your copyrights responsibly, and much more.  Additionally, this is now the home of the original popular TEACH Act Toolkit, one of the first and heavily used sites explaining the content and implementation of this important addition to the copyright law as it applies to distance education.


For Assistance Contact:
Kate Dickson, Copyright and Licensing Librarian -

Digital Publishing

J. Murrey Atkins Library Digital Publishing Services support the publication of scholarly works including online journals, eBooks, and conference proceedings. Our services are built on robust publishing platforms that promote open knowledge exchange, wide scholarship discoverability, and innovative dissemination of scholarly communication. 

Publishing Services

  • Platform software hosting
  • Content management
  • Copyright advisory
  • Technical support
  • Software training
  • In-person consulting
  • Graphic design support

Publishing Platforms

  • Open Journal Systems (OJS) is an online journal-management system and publishing platform that facilitates efforts to cultivate and expand access to scholarly research.
  • Open Monograph Press (OMP) is an open-source software platform that supports the management and editing process of digital eBooks, including edited volumes and scholarly editions, at each step of the publishing process.
  • Open Conference Systems (OCS) is an open-source publishing tool that supports the management and publication of scholarly conference proceedings online.
  • Omeka is an open-source web-publishing platform that facilitates the publication and digital display of collections, research, and online exhibitions.

For more information or to schedule a consultation, email