Skip to Main Content

Copyright: Home

RightFind Advisor

Start here to access 
RightFind Advisor 

Copyright Clearance Center

Marshfield Clinic Health System subscribes to a Copyright Clearance Center searchable index of titles for which we already have copyright permission.  Our Copyright Clearance Center license allows MCHS employees to copy and distribute material that is owned, subscribed to, or licensed to MCHS for internal business and education purposes.  

With the license you may:

  • E-mail online articles to fellow employees and coworkers
  • Distribute copies of published articles at internal meetings
  • Post excerpts of industry research on corporate intranet sites
  • Print and copy published articles to share with colleagues
  • Download content for use at company meetings

Click here for more information on what is covered by our CCC license.


The license also comes with RightFindAdvisor, a tool which enables you to quickly confirm license coverage for specific publications.   Start here to access RightFind Advisor and enter the publication title or standard number (ISBN/ISSN) in the search box to see if you have permission to use reference material through MCHS Copyright Clearance Center license. 

Click here For more information on using RightFind Advisor and the content approved under this license.  


Motion Picture License

Additionally, MCHS has a Motion Picture License which allows employees to use copyright-protected movies and TV shows (referred to as "videos") for internal use at employee trainings, presentations, and meetings.  This license allows employees to show videos obtained from any legal source, as long as the videos are covered under the license.  This may include DVD's purchased at retail outlets, videos downloaded from iTunes or streamed videos from sources such as  Videos do not need to be shown in their entirety.  Check here to see if the content you wish to use is covered by the Motion Picture License.  

If you have any questions regarding the use of the Copyright Clearance Center or Motion Picture Licenses, please contact the medical librarians.  

Copyright Basics

Copyright and Videos at Work

Welcome to Copyright!

Welcome to the Marshfield Clinic Health System (MCHS) Copyright LibGuide!  This guide is designed to create awareness and understanding of copyright issues in the workplace.  We all have the responsibility of making sure we are in compliance with copyright law as we go about our daily work.  Failure to comply may lead to substantial penalties for MCHS.  At this LibGuide you can access the MCHS Copyright Compliance Policy, view tutorials on basic copyright, review fair use,  access websites to use for free images, and more. 

If you have time, start with viewing the video "Copyright Early History".  You will be surprised to learn of the original intent of Copyright.  The Copyright Basics video is an excellent overview of copyright in the workplace.  If you need assistance, please contact your librarians!  

What is Copyright?

Copyright was created to protect the rights of authors and creators of original works, such as works of a literary, dramatic, musical, or artistic form. It also includes text and images from websites, journal articles, and books. Copyright is supported by the laws of the United States (U.S. Code Title 17 and the 1976 Copyright Act).

The laws say those holding ownership of works have the exclusive right to permit others:

  • To reproduce the work
  • To prepare derivatives based on the work
  • To distribute copies of the work by sale, lease, or lending
  • To publicly perform or display the work

It is illegal for anyone to violate these rights without the permission of the copyright holder.

Companies are held liable for the actions of their employees. Please refer to the MCHS Copyright Compliance Policy.

What is Protected by Copyright?

Since January 1, 1978 anything set into a fixed format such as articles, photos, drawings, audio or video recordings, paintings and other artwork, graphic art designs, web design, web pages, PowerPoint presentations and books are protected under copyright law. Once anything is written, published, or recorded, it is automatically copyrighted.  No copyright symbol or notice is required.  

Copyright protects:

  • Materials found on Google Images, YouTube, and other online sources such as websites, blogs, etc. 
  • Published material such as journals, books and newspapers
  • Forms, tool kits, and assessments
  • Images and photographs
  • Cartoons and drawings
  • Graphs, tables, figures, and charts
  • Movies and videos
  • Music
  • Computer programs and software

Copyright does not protect: 

  • Materials produced by the U.S. government but some images and videos (i.e. those produced by A.D.A.M.) are protected by copyright
  • Ideas and facts but the creative expression of an idea or fact that is fixed in print, audio, video, art, or other medium is protected by copyright  
  • Titles, names, some short phrases
  • Materials that is in public domain.  These materials may have been placed in the public domain by the author or they may have moved into the public domain due to the age of the material (generally if created prior to 1923).



This guide is not intended to be legal advice. It is designed to provide general information about copyright to consider while researching and teaching in the health care field.

Many thanks to April M. Hathcock, Scholarly Communications Librarian, New York University Libraries and Georgia Harper, University of Texas Libraries and Ascension Wisconsin Libraries for sharing their LibGuide Content.  

What are the fines for copyright violations?

Fines for copyright are determined by the courts on a case by case basis, and are not less than $750.00 or more than $30,000.00 per violation.  The court may increase the award of statutory damages to a sum of not more than $150,000.00 per violation.  

Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17) Chapter 5                                                                                                                                    

History of Copyright

The laws we take for granted today weren’t actually created with the payment or protection of the authors in mind, nor did they intend to encourage the creation of new works. Copyright was primarily designed for censorship, control and strict regulation.

Copyright Early History (7 min)

Contact Your Librarian

Profile Photo
Claudia Noonan
George E. Magnin Medical Library
Marshfield Clinic
1000 Oak Ave.
Marshfield, WI 54449
715-389-3532 or 93532