University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee



Getting permission


What is copyright?
Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States (title 17, U.S. Code) to the authors of “original works of authorship,” including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works. This protection is available to both published and unpublished works. Section 106 of the 1976 Copyright Act generally gives the owner of copyright the exclusive right to do and to authorize others to use their materials. See the Library of Congress Circular Number 1 for more details.


What is public domain?
A work of authorship is in the “public domain” if it is no longer under copyright protection or if it failed to meet the requirements for copyright protection. Materials in the Public Domain may be used without fear of infringing on someone’s copyright. Here are some guidelines to help you determine whether something is in the public domain.


How do I get permission to use copyrighted materials?

This resource is not a substitute for legal advice. If you want specific advice about a copyright matter, you may contact the UWM Office of Legal Affairs.