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DSCI 350M/LIB 350M Humanities Research Data Management

A course guide for Humanities Research Data Management

Copyright and Licensed Content

What is a copyright license agreement?

A copyright license agreement is an agreement upon which a copyright holder determines what permissions are given to share and reuse a creative work.

Where do researchers typically encounter copyright agreements?

  • Publishing books, journals, and other creative academic works
  • Working in special collections and archives
  • Reusing published research data
  • Becoming a work for hire
  • University proprietary rights agreements
  • Licensed publisher content found in library databases

What permissions are found in copyright licensing agreements?

Kind of Permission Description of Permission Example of Permission
Reproduction This is the copyright owner’s right and ability to control the new makings of copies. The permission to convert printed text or images into digital form.
Making Derivatives This is the copyright holder’s right and ability to control how their creative work is made into new adaptive forms. The permission to make a transcription from an interview sound recording or transforming a creative work through an editing process.
Copy Distribution This is the ability to control how a creative work is shared through the transfer to others. Uploading a copyrighted feature film to YouTube or sharing a copyrighted digital image on Instagram.
Public Performance

his is the copyright owner’s ability to control how their copyrighted work is publicly performed. Public is determined by

  1. a place open to the general public;
  2. a place where there is a substantial amount of people outside a family or social circle;
  3. transmitted in multiple locations. This right does not relate to sound recordings.
Streaming a movie from Netflix at a public event.
Public Display his is the copyright owner’s right and ability to control the public display of works like photographs, paintings, literary works, and designs. This is similar to public performance rights, but doesn’t apply to performances. Only applies to display. Adding a full-length poem to a publicly available website.


Frequently Asked Questions about Understanding Copyright

Do I own my copyright?

Copyrights are generally owned by the people who create the works of expression, with some important exceptions:

  • If a work is created by an employee in the course of his or her employment, the employer owns the copyright.
  • If the work is created by an independent contractor and the independent contractor signs a written agreement stating that the work shall be “made for hire,” the commissioning person or organization owns the copyright only if the work is (1) a part of a larger literary work, such as an article in a magazine or a poem or story in an anthology; (2) part of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, such as a screenplay; (3) a translation; (4) a supplementary work such as an afterword, an introduction, chart, editorial note, bibliography, appendix or index; (5) a compilation; (6) an instructional text; (7) a test or answer material for a test; or (8) an atlas. Works that don’t fall within one of these eight categories constitute works made for hire only if created by an employee within the scope of his or her employment.
  • If the creator has sold the entire copyright, the purchasing business or person becomes the copyright owner.

As a UO researcher, am I required to follow United States copyright law?


Who at the UO can advise me on copyright?

If you need consultation support regarding creator or author rights then you can reach out to the UO Libraries. The UO Libraries have a number of library faculty who specialize in copyright. To reach a librarian connect with them through the DREAM Lab’s consultation services.