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The cornerstone of the Copyright Act is the concept of fair use, a practice that is common on college and university campuses, particularly in their libraries. Under the act, copyright attaches as soon as the original works of authors are placed into tangible media. Neither registering works with the U.S. Copyright Office nor placing copyright notices is required in order to create copyright protection for original works. Even so, placing copyright notices on works is beneficial, because notice to the public is necessary in most cases in order to claim statutory damages and attorney fees for copyright infringements.

Determinations as to whether the copying or reproduction of the original works of others is a Copyright Act violation begins with the act's broad exemption that “criticism, comment, ...

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