Copyright Rules

Physical ownership of an item does not necessarily mean that the Library owns the intellectual property rights for that item. Unless the item was produced by the U.S. government or by California State University, Dominguez Hills, or was published before 1923, in most cases the item is still regulated by copyright law. Unless copyright has been formally transferred to the University through a written document, copyright remains in the hands of the creator or the copyright owner. Thus, if a patron would like to have an entire item photocopied, he or she must first obtain permission from the copyright holder. Likewise, permission to quote from an item or publish it must be sought from the copyright holder.

If a photograph was taken by a professional photographer, copyright is retained by that photographer or his/her agents, unless the product is a result of a work for hire. In cases of work for hire photographs, copyright belongs to the photographer's clients. It is the responsibility of the user to resolve any copyright questions that might arise in the use of reproduced photographs.

In all cases, if a patron wishes to make copies of written or photographic materials for which California State University, Dominguez Hills does not own the copyright, it is the responsibility of the researcher to attempt to locate the holder of the copyright to obtain permission for publication. Full responsibility for legal questions relating to the use and publication of manuscripts rests with the researcher.

Consult with Gerth Archives' staff for assistance with any questions about copyright.