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Copyright Crash Course



The Copyright Crash Course (CCC) was originally created with faculty in mind, but can be used by anyone who is interested in understanding and managing their copyrights. You can either use the menu options on the left or click on one of the related subject guides below that are part of the Copyright Crash Course.

If you need to take the Crash Course tutorial & test, click here (UT affiliation required).

Additional CCC Guides:

Copyright for Librarians

Creative Commons

Fair Use

Public Domain

Copyright Clearance Center (relevant to UT only)


The information presented on the Copyright Crash Course is intended only for informational purposes and should not be construed as legal advice. 

Role of Copyright

The role of copyright in the flow of research is undergoing dramatic and exciting change. The options for scholarly communication have never been broader or more effective. You'll find discussion of copyright woven all through important aspects of research and teaching, such as:

  • the training of AI and use of AI output
  • the use of others' works in the classroom, in fieldwork, and the laboratory
  • building on the works of others to create new works
  • open source software development
  • use and reuse of datasets
  • Creative Commons licensing
  • open access to research results and its acceleration of the pace of scientific discovery
  • the digitization of books in the public domain and digital access to works still in print as well as orphan works
  • the resulting opportunities to discover knowledge that's been hard to access in the past

History of the Copyright Crash Course

The Copyright Crash Course was originally created by Georgia Harper and is currently being updated and added to by Colleen Lyon, Head of Scholarly Communications at UT Libraries. Version 1 and Version 2 of the Copyright Crash Course are available via Texas ScholarWorks

This is Version 3. The major difference with Version 3 is that large subject areas of the Copyright Crash Course have been moved to their own guides. The Creative Commons, Public Domain, and Copyright Clearance Center subject areas are new to Version 3.

The goal is to update the Copyright Crash Course every summer. That will necessarily involve making changes like deleting pages and adding additional pages, especially as new court cases and updates to the law happen. Please think of the Crash Course as a living document and not a static resource that will always be the same.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Proper attribution is Copyright Crash Course by Georgia Harper. 


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Colleen Lyon

KAH leen LIE uhn


Pronouns: she/her

Contact Information

Due to the volume of inquiries received, I can only respond to copyright inquiries from University of Texas affiliated faculty, students, and staff.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 Generic License.