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Maple Woods - Plagiarism and Citations

Learn how to cite correctly and avoid plagiarism

What Is Copyright?

Copyright is a form of legal protection provided to authors. It covers literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and other intellectual works. Under this protection, the owner of the copyright has the exclusive right to reproduce, distribute, perform, and display the work, as well as prepare derivative works. provides details on copyright law.

Intellectual Property

Intellectual property includes literary works (such as novels, short stories, poems, plays), images, musical compositions, computer programs, artistic works (such as paintings, sculpture, photographs), choreography, films, ads, architectural designs, maps, songs, and websites.

Intellectual property is protected by copyrights, trademarks, and patents.

Fair Use

The doctrine of fair use allows you to reproduce an author's work. This is especially important in the areas of research and education. Fair use is not always clear-cut, but generally these factors are considered in determining whether the use is fair:

  1. The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes
  2. The nature of the copyrighted work
  3. The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole
  4. The effect of the use upon the potential market for, or value of, the copyrighted work

Subject Guide