Copyright Guidelines

Copyright is the right of an author to control the reproduction and use of any creative expression that has been fixed in a tangible form, such as on student media or computer disk.

The types of creative expression eligible for copyright protection include literary, graphic, photographic, audio/visual, electronic and musical works. Probably of greatest concern to reporters and editors are the copyrights in photographs used to illustrate news reports.

A copyright comes into existence the moment an original work of expression is captured in tangible form. No filing of any sort is required for a work to be protected by copyright. Upon creation of a piece, ownership of the copyright in that work is vested in the author of a work— the person to whom the work owes its origin.


The SM does not knowingly violate anyone's copyright. For more on copyright infringement see the AP Stylebook.


By submitting an article, photo, graphic or cartoon to the SM, the person who submits such warrants that he or she holds the copyright to the item or has secured permission for its use. The SM maintains first North American rights, online rights and archive rights to everything it publishes. Additionally, students who are assigned to photograph events and submit photos that are not published convey to the SM all of the above rights. The copyright may be returned to the student, upon request, at the discretion of the EIC and the photo editor, in consultation with the adviser.