Law & Policy

US Copyright Law has over 200 years of history and its evolution is reflected through numerous amendments and case law. Since April, 2013, the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee has held a series of hearings to determine whether the U.S. copyright laws are still working in the digital age.


Copyright Clause of the US Constitution

Article I Section 8, Clause 8: “The Congress shall have Power…to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.”

See “A history of US Copyright Law.”


US Codes & Statutes

The US Copyright Law is a federal law and is codified in U.S. code Title 17. The most recent edition is the 2011 version, which contains all amendments enacted through December 9, 2010.

Download a full PDF version


Copyright and Fair Use Cases

The Doctrine of Fair Use permits the unlicensed use of copyright-protected works in certain circumstances. Courts evaluate fair use claims on a case-by-case basis within the legal framework prescribed in Section 107 of the Copyright Act.

You can search for court opinions on fair use by category and type of use (e.g., photograph, computer program, education) through the U.S. Copyright Office Fair Use Index.


USG Board of Regents IP policy

6.3.2.3 Copyrighted Materials shall include the following:

  1. Books, journal articles, texts, glossaries, bibliographies, study guides, laboratory manuals, syllabi, tests, and proposals;
  2. Lectures, musical or dramatic compositions, and unpublished scripts;
  3. Films, filmstrips, charts, transparencies, and other visual aids;
  4. Video and audio tapes or cassettes;
  5. Live video and audio broadcasts;
  6. Programmed instructional materials;
  7. Mask works; and,
  8. Other materials or works other than software that qualify for protection under the copyright laws of the United States (See 17 U.S.C. § 102 et seq.) or other protective statutes whether or not registered thereunder.

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Georgia Tech IP policy

Faculty Handbook 5.4.4 Assignment and License of Rights

All full or part-time faculty and staff shall, as a condition of employment with the Institute, execute an agreement, assigning all rights, title, and interest, to the extent prescribed in this policy, in any Intellectual Property to the Georgia Tech Research Corporation. Students shall not be required to execute an agreement except as set forth in this policy under section 50.5.B. This policy shall, however, be applicable to them as provided in the General Catalog and Student Handbook.

Students shall be required to execute an agreement only:

  1. When working on a research project funded by an entity other than GIT, the Georgia Tech Foundation, or the Board of Regents;
  2. When employed by GIT; or
  3. When required by the Office of the Provost. Such requirement may be recommended by a faculty member who has students working in faculty-directed research.

For Copyrighted Material that is (1) created by a student in furtherance of or in connection with student’s studies or activities at GIT during his/her matriculation at GIT and (2) that does not fall under Section 5.4.4B above, the student hereby grants to GTRC and GIT a non-exclusive, royalty-free license to copy, display, distribute, perform, display and make derivate works of the Copyrighted Materials for GTRC’s and GIT’s purposes only.

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