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Copyright, Privacy, and Publicity Rights Information for archival materials


The Gregg-Graniteville Library is the home of the Gregg-Graniteville Archives and the University of South Carolina Aiken University Archives. We aim to provide access to materials in our collection for use in research, teaching and private study, pursuant to United States Copyright Law.

Manuscripts, photographs, sound recordings, film, and other items are protected under federal copyright law.  Copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The USC Aiken Gregg-Graniteville Library claims only physical ownership of most materials in the archival collections.

To learn more about the copyright of published and unpublished materials in archival collections, please consult with the Society of American Archivists’ information on Copyright and Unpublished Materials. Also please consult the U.S. Copyright Office page for more information on U.S. Copyright law, including public domain and fair use.

Providing reproductions does NOT constitute permission to publish or reproduce images in print or electronic form. Since we do not generally own rights to the materials, we do not grant, nor deny permission to use the items. 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. It is the responsibility of the user to obtain permission to publish from the copyright owner.

We request that any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source citation. 

Privacy and Publicity Rights for Archival Materials

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)

Note: Based on USC Upstate Library & Archives statement with permission .