"What the heck is. copy. right?"
(From A Fair(y) Use Tale.)
Copyright impacts everyone, yet it is often very confusing to understand. Here are several external resources that can help you know your rights and avoid violating the rights of others.
Interested in a general overview of copyright for academics? See Stanford University's copyright guide or the University of Texas' Copyright Crash Course.
Columbia University offers a fair use checklist and explanation to help you figure out whether or not you can use copyrighted material without first asking permission.
If you're concerned about safeguarding your rights as an author, consider attaching an author addendum to your publication agreement. The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) offers an author addendum that you can use.
(If you have any questions please email our reference librarian: firstname.lastname@example.org)
image by flickr user arthit, used under Creative Commons license