Agriculture Communication


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Give Credit Where Credit is Due

"It's for educational use."

"I got it from another university."

"I only used a little bit of the information."

These are all excuses for violating copyright laws.

Fact: Information from the federal government may be used without requesting permission, but you should still credit the source.

Fact: Information from state government, including public universities, is considered copyrighted. That means you must follow the source's guidance regarding if permission is needed, how you must give credit and similar issues.

Fact: Material is considered copyrighted even if there isn't a copyright symbol or the word on the page. As long as a source can prove they created the information, they own it. A copyright symbol just makes the ownership more obvious.

Fact: Registering material with the U.S. Copyright Office just makes it easier for the author to prove ownership if a dispute ends up in court.

However, NDSU Agriculture and University Extension's goal is to share our information broadly with as few strings attached as possible. With support from NDSU's General Counsel, Agriculture and University Extension is now using Creative Commons licensing. Our Creative Commons license at says--

Others are free:

To share -- to copy, distribute and transmit the work

To remix -- to adapt the work

under the following conditions:

AttributionYou must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work).

Noncommercial — You may not use this work for commercial purposes.

Share Alike — If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under the same or similar license to this one.

Even when using other NDSU information, please remember to give credit where credit is due to the author, unless the author has specifically developed the information as a fill-in-the-blank for other staff to use. Some Extension specialists provide these kinds of materials for agents.

Becky Koch, (701) 231-7875

Filed under: ,
Creative Commons License
Feel free to use and share this content, but please do so under the conditions of our Creative Commons license and our Rules for Use. Thanks.