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As broadly defined by the United States copyright office, "Copyright is a form of protection grounded in the U.S. Constitution and granted by law for original works of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression. Copyright covers both published and unpublished works." It is "a form of intellectual property law, protects original works of authorship including literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, such as poetry, novels, movies, songs, computer software, and architecture. Copyright does not protect facts, ideas, systems, or methods of operation, although it may protect the way these things are expressed." Everyone at CCSU is responsible for following copyright procedures.

The CSCU guide is designed to support the ability of CSCU faculty and staff to understand copyright law and apply this understanding to exercise their rights to make academic use of materials.