Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Hostos Library Banner

Copyright & Licensing for Student Creators: Definitions

As a creator...

As a creator, you need to know a little bit about copyright and licensing!


Intellectual Property

Intellectual property (IP) refers to the ownership of a creative expression or design by the person who came up with it. It gives a person certain exclusive rights to a distinct type of creative design, meaning that nobody else can copy or reuse that creation without the owner's permission.

Some Types of Intellectual Property

Copyright
Trademark
Patent
Copyright is a law that gives the owner of a work (for example, a book, movie, picture, song or website) the right to say how other people can use it.
A trademark (or trade mark) is a way for a business to help people to identify the products that the business makes from products made by another business. A trademark can be a name, word, phrase, symbol, logo, design, or picture. It can only be used on things made by the business that owns the trademark.
A patent gives an inventor the right to stop other people making or using their invention.
Note: creative works can be copyrighted, logos and other identifying marks can be trademarked, and inventions can be patented (even if they haven't been built yet), BUT ideas or thoughts that have not been "fixed in a tangible medium of expression" can't be owned and aren't considered intellectual property.

This guide is for your general information purposes only and not to be construed as legal advice. If you have legal questions, please consult with an attorney.

Creative Commons License
Unless otherwise stipulated, this guide is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Creative Commons License
Content on this page is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Content on this page adapted from:

Original works licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.