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Rights Information

Copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The USC Upstate Library and Archives claims only physical ownership of most Special Collections materials.

Manuscripts, photographs, sound recordings, film, and other items are protected under federal copyright law.  The researcher is fully responsible for any legal issues surrounding the use of Special Collections materials.  The Society of American Archivists provides more comprehensive information related to Copyright and Unpublished Materials on their website. 

View more information about copyright law, including public domain and fair use from the U.S. Copyright Office.

Some of the material in our digital collections includes a Creative Commons license. For Creative Commons licensed materials, you have permission to use the item in whatever way the license terms permit. For uses other than those granted in the license, you must obtain permission.  

View more information about Creative Commons licenses. 

The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source. 

Providing reproductions does NOT constitute permission to publish or reproduce images in print or electronic form.   

While copyright is a federally protected right under the United States Copyright Act, with statutorily described fair use defenses against charges of copyright infringement, neither privacy nor publicity rights are the subject of federal law.  Privacy and publicity rights are the subject of state laws.  What may be permitted in one state may not be permitted in another.

While copyright protects the copyright holder's property rights in the work or intellectual creation, privacy and publicity rights protect the interests of the person(s) who may be the subject(s) of the work or intellectual creation. Issues pertaining to privacy and publicity may arise when a researcher contemplates the use of letters, diary entries, photographs or reportage in visual, audio, and print formats found in library collections.

Because two or more people are often involved in the work (e.g., photographer and subject, interviewer and interviewee) and because of the ease with which various media in digital format can be reused, photographs, audio files, and motion pictures represent materials in which issues of privacy and publicity emerge with some frequency.

Regardless of the format in which our collections materials are presented to users, all users are responsible for determining and complying with all privacy and publicity rights, rules, and applicable laws when accessing and utilizing the collections.  When weighing privacy and publicity rights, consider the type of materials and their intended use.

(NOTE:  Information in this section sourced from the Library of Congress, American Memory Project)


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