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Faculty Services

Copyright Committee

Goshen College has a copyright committee that periodically reviews copyright issues and questions as they effect the campus community. Please reach out to any of the following members if there is a copyright question you want advise on or wish for the committee to discuss. 

  • Dustin George-Miller
  • Fritz Hartman


How long do copyrights last?

  • Most new works are protected for the life of the author plus 70 years.
  • Current law no longer requires the formalities of notice or registration for copyright protection.

What works are not protected by copyright law?

  • Ideas and facts
  • Works of the U.S. government
  • Works with expired copyright

Who owns the copyright?

  • The creator of a new work is the copyright owner.
  • Copyrights may be transferred by means of a written document signed by the copyright owner.
  • Two or more authors working together may be joint copyright owners. 

What are the rights of copyright owners?

  • Section 106 of the Copyright Act: copyright owners have the exclusive rights to:
    • reproduce the work
    • distribute the work
    • prepare derivative works
    • publicly display the work
    • publicly perform the work

What are the exceptions to the rights of copyright owners ?

  • Fair use is the most important exception.
  • Many other exceptions also exist (library copying, public displays, performances in face-to-face teaching, TEACH Act, among others).
  • Congress continues to enact new exceptions, creating new opportunities to use copyrighted works.