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Copyright LogoUnderstanding and complying with the laws governing the use of copyrighted materials is daunting. The information on this site is directed at teaching faculty, students, scientific writers, researchers, and others at MUSC who use copyrighted works. This guide does not supply legal advice nor is it intended to replace the advice of legal counsel.

Copyright is the law that guarantees to the author or creator of an original work, certain rights in regard to the use and dissemination of that work. In the United States, the copyright law is spelled out in Title 17 of the United States Code. The law was substantially amended in 1998 with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). It was further updated in 2002 with the Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization Act to reflect the increasing use of technology for both classroom teaching and distance education. The copyright laws reflect a complex balance of the rights of the author/creator of a published or unpublished work and the public interest in the development of knowledge.