Copyright Policy

USU Campus

Copyright Policy

Purpose of this Policy

It is the responsibility of all University Personnel to ensure that their works and presentations comply with copyright law.


Copyright law prohibits the use of a specific expression of an 'original works of authorship,' including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works without the permission of the copyright owner (which may or may not be the author of the work) unless the use falls within certain specific exceptions. Copyright protection applies to both published and unpublished works, regardless of whether it is marked as copyrighted material ( Copyright affords the owner certain rights, including the right to reproduce a work and the right to distribute copies of the work for a set period of time. As a general rule, works created after 1923 are subject to copyright. A recent change to the law states that copyright in a work created on or after January 1, 1978 endures for a term consisting of the life of the author and 70 years after the author's death. In the case of an anonymous work, a pseudonymous work, or a work made for hire, the copyright endures for a term of 95 years from the year of its first publication, or a term of 120 years from the year of its creation (17 U.S.C. 302).

Under the provisions of 17 U.S.C. 105, copyright protection is not available for any work of the United States Government (or works by Government employees in the course of their duties), but the United States Government is not precluded from receiving and holding copyrights transferred to it by assignment, bequest, or otherwise. If a Government employee seeks to produce a copyrighted work it must done completely apart from their Government duties and only after the employee has received approval to engage in an "Outside Activity." Please contact the Office of General Counsel for more information.

Contact Information

Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
Office of General Counsel
4301 Jones Bridge Road, C1094
Bethesda, Maryland 20814-4799

Start with your Department Chair for initial guidance

Additional Guidance may be obtained through the Learning Resource Center (LRC) to determine what USU already has licensed

For general Copyright Law questions you may be directed to the Office of General Counsel (OGC)