The web allows for copying and sharing of vast amounts of intellectual property (texts, images, photographs, drawings, graphs, multimedia works, media or sound files, software, etc.) To avoid infringing on someone else's copyright, you must ensure any work you share meets one of the following criteria:
- In the public domain
- Created and owned by you
- Being used with permission from the creator/copyright holder
- Exempted from the permission requirement under principles of “Fair Use”
These rules apply even if your intent is merely non-commercial and educational.
Fair use guidelines are only applicable to academic content, as described in Copyright and Fair Use.
Students own the intellectual property rights in their papers and projects. A department or faculty member who intends to upload student essays or other work to a publicly-accessible website, should obtain clear written permission from the students to such use of their work.
Typically, it should be clear that students retain the copyrights to their work, and are merely granting permission for web posting. Below is example text that can be used to obtain a release to use a student's work:
The undersigned hereby grants Missouri State University permission to copy and distribute my _____________________ assignment (the "work").