Copyright and Intellectual Property

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Policy documents
Legislation, Conventions, etc.
Library of Congress Copyright Office Circulars
Intellectual property resources at other sites


American Library Association
Copyright Advisory Network, "A community of librarians, copyright scholars, policy wonks"

"Section 108 of the U.S. Copyright code allows libraries and archives, under certain circumstances, to make reproductions of copyrighted materials without the permission of the copyright holder. ALA's Office for Information Technology Policy is happy to release the Section 108 Spinner. The spinner is a useful tool that can help determine whether a particular reproduction is covered by the 108 exemption.". In addition to this online tool, a hard-copy version is available

See especially Copyright Evaluator and Is it protected by Copyright?

Section 108 Spinner

College Art Association
Intellectual Property and the Arts

"The Committee on Intellectual Property (CIP) monitors and interprets copyright legislation for the benefit of CAA's various constituencies. In so doing, it seeks to offer educational programs and opportunities for discussion and debate in response to copyright legislation affecting educators, scholars, museum professionals, and artists.

"Education is essential for informed communication. The committee hopes that the resources presented in this section will answer your questions about intellectual property and inform your discussions and debates."

  • US Copyright: Fundamentals & Documents
  • Visual Art/Visual Artists
  • Publishing in the Visual Arts
  • Libraries, Archives, and Museums
  • Image Sources and Rights Clearance Agencies
  • Fir Use Guidelines, Practices, and Policies
  • Copyright Outside the United States

Robert L. Oakley

Copyright and Preservation: A Serious Problem in Need of a Thoughtful Solution

Kenneth D. Crews

Copyright Law, Libraries, and Universities: Overview, Recent Developments, and Future Issues

Lucien Capone
Copyright Law and Distance Learning

Intellectual Property and the National Information Infrastructure
A Preliminary Draft of the Report of the Working Group on Intellectual Property Rights
The Working Group on Intellectual Property Rights, which is chaired by Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks Bruce A. Lehman, was established within the Information Policy Committee to examine the intellectual property implications of the NII.

This Report represents the Working Group's examination and analysis to date. While it addresses each of the major areas of intellectual property law, it focuses primarily on copyright law and its application and effectiveness in the context of the NII.

Gasaway, Laura N. (Lolly)
Balancing Copyright Concerns: The Teach Act of 2001, Educause Review 36, Nov-Dec. 2001. (PDF)
Distance Learning and Copyright: Is a Solution in Sight?
Values Conflict in the Digital Environment: Librarians Versus Copyright Holders
When Works Pass into the Public Domain

See also her:homepage for citations to articles in print.
Copyright Timeline
Intellectual Property

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

See also CIPO, below

Australian Library and Information Association
Copyright FAQs

Terry Carroll
Frequently Asked Questions about Copyright (FAQ)

Frequently Asked Questions About Copyright: Issues Affecting the U.S. Government

Brad Templeton
Big Myths about copyright explained

Policy documents

Legislation, Conventions, etc.

Cultural Property Advisory Committee, United States Department of State
"The United States Department of State is responsible for implementing the Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act (the Act). This is the enabling legislation for the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property. In accordance with the Act, the State Department accepts requests from countries for import restrictions on archaeological or ethnological artifacts, the pillage of which places their national cultural heritage in jeopardy. The Cultural Property Advisory Committee, appointed by the president of the United States and administered by the State Department, reviews these requests and makes recommendations to the State Department. Under the president's authority, the State Department makes a decision with regard to the request and may enter into a cultural property agreement with the requesting country. The State Department's cultural property staff supports these functions and related activities and serves as a center of expertise on global cultural heritage protection issues."
U.S. and International Laws
Efforts to Protect Cultural Property Worldwide

Library of Congress Copyright Office

U.S. Copyright Office: Historical Information

This site is dedicated to copyright law and the national copyright system and has a lot to offer. For starters, the "Biographies of the Registers of Copyrights" is a real pip, as it contains profiles of the individuals who have served in this key government position since the days of Thorvald Solberg, who assumed the office in 1897 and served until 1930. The site also contains more wordy and technical items, including the complete text of the United States Copyright Code. There are also a number of learned articles on copyright here, including "A Sneeze of Historic Proportions" and "You Wrote It, Now Copyright It." The site's fun "Copyright Lore" area includes artless on Mark Twain's fight for international copyright protection and information about the world's biggest card catalog, which is part of the U.S. Copyright Office

-- From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout 1994-2014.

Copyright Office Circulars
Circular 1 - Copyright Basics
Circular 22 - How to Investigate the Copyright Status of a Work

Intellectual property resources at other sites


Czech translation of this document is available at
Translated by Alice Slaba
(Accessed Sat Apr 4 13:58:33 PDT 2015)

Ukrainian translation of this document is available at
Translated by Mario Pozner
(Accessed Wed Jul 25 15:02:43 PDT 2012)
(Confirmed Sat Apr 4 13:32:40 PDT 2015)

A French translation of this document is available at
Translated by Kate Bondareva
(Accessed Tue Jun 10 11:14:29 PDT 201O
(Confirmed Sat Apr 4 13:32:40 PDT 2015)

A Swedish translation of this document is available at
Translated by Vicky Rotarova
(Accessed Thu Apr 9 08:30:56 PDT 2015)

Portuguese translation of this document is available at
Translated by Artur Weber
(Accessed Sat Apr 4 13:58:33 PDT 2015)


June M. Besek
Copyright Issues Relevant to Digital Preservation and Dissemination of Pre-1972 Commercial Sound Recordings by Libraries and Archives>. Commissioned for and sponsored by the National Recording Preservation Board, Library of Congress. 2005

The Conference on Fair Use (CONFU): An Interim Report to the Commissioner, Dec, 1996 (see also ARL, below)

Kenneth D. Crews
New Media, New Rights, and Your New Dissertation
Not the "Last Word" on Photocopying and Coursepacks: The Sixth Circuit Rules Against Fair Use in the MDS Case, 1997
The MDS Decision and Fair Use for Coursepacks, March 5, 1996

Thomas G. Field, Jr.
Copyright in Visual Arts

Authors, Publishers, and Google Reach Landmark Settlement: Copyright Accord Would Make Millions More Books Available Online, October 28, 2008.

"The Authors Guild, the Association of American Publishers (AAP), and Google today announced a groundbreaking settlement agreement on behalf of a broad class of authors and publishers worldwide that would expand online access to millions of in-copyright books and other written materials in the U.S. from the collections of a number of major U.S. libraries participating in Google Book Search. The agreement, reached after two years of negotiations, would resolve a class-action lawsuit brought by book authors and the Authors Guild, as well as a separate lawsuit filed by five large publishers as representatives of the AAP's membership. The class action is subject to approval by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

"The agreement promises to benefit readers and researchers, and enhance the ability of authors and publishers to distribute their content in digital form, by significantly expanding online access to works through Google Book Search, an ambitious effort to make millions of books searchable via the Web. The agreement acknowledges the rights and interests of copyright owners, provides an efficient means for them to control how their intellectual property is accessed online and enables them to receive compensation for online access to their works."

Major universities see promise in Google Book Search settlement. Oct 28, 2008.
Google Blog Posting: New chapter for Google Book Search, Oct 28, 2008
Google Book Search Copyright Settlement

"This is the settlement administration website for the Google Book Search Copyright Class Action Settlement. The purpose of this website is to inform you of a proposed Settlement of a class action lawsuit brought by authors and publishers, claiming that Google has violated their copyrights and those of other Rightsholders of Books and Inserts (click for definitions), by scanning their Books, creating an electronic database and displaying short excerpts without the permission of the copyright holders. Google denies the claims. The lawsuit is entitled The Authors Guild, Inc., et al. v. Google Inc., Case No. 05 CV 8136 (S.D.N.Y.)"


"This website is maintained by Rust Consulting, Inc., the Settlement Administrator, with technical support and hosting provided by Google Inc., the defendant in the lawsuit. Please review the Privacy Policy for information concerning the use of any information that you provide through this website. This is the Only Authorized Website for this Settlement. Please do not rely upon other sites that may set out different and/or unauthorized information."

Stanford FAQ: Google Book Search Settlement

Grace H. Garbe
A Copyright Guide for Librarians: A Subject Guide to Copyright Information on the Internet, 1996

Brewster Kahle, Alexander Macgillivray, Lawrence Lessig, & Wendy Seltzer
Re: RM 2002-4 17 USC § 1201 Exemptions Notice of Inquiry

"Thank you for this opportunity to propose exemptions from Section 1201 of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act. Since the time of the first rulemaking we have directly experienced many additional problems with the Section 1201s prohibition on access control circumvention. We appreciate the chance to explain those problems and our proposed solution. The signatories of this comment are concerned about the effects of Section 1201 on preservation of works controlled by access devices. The Internet Archive, this comments principal author, is a non-profit library that started by archiving the web in order to provide an historical record to future generations, including those that visit its interactive sculpture in the Library of Congresss lobby. The Archive now provides free access to an enormous and wideranging collection of web pages, movies, books, sound recordings and software. We work every day to ensure that the explosion of digital creativity is not lost to history.

By this comment, we propose that Literary and audiovisual works embodied in software whose access control systems prohibit access to replicas of the works be exempted from the anti-circumvention provision of Section 1201(a)."

William M. Landes
Copyright Protection and Appropriation Art

Museums Copryight Group
Copyright in Photographs of Works of Art
Copyright in Photographs of Works of Art

Society of American Archivists (SAA)
Copyright, Archival Institutions and the Digital Environment. The Society of American Archivists position on proposals to amend the 1976 Copyright Act. Approved by the Society of American Archivists Council, June 9, 1997
Educational Fair Use Guidelines for Digital Images: Response of The Society of American Archivists to the Draft Guidelines Developed by the Conference on Fair Use

General resources

Association of Research Libraries (ARL)
Copyright and Intellectual Property

ARL offers a particularly rich and uptodate set of resources covering intellectual property issues, including ARL-commissioned reports and links to key resources at other sites. Highlights include:

Recent Federal Relations Postings
Copyright Term Extension
Database Proposals and Legislation
Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act (UCITA) Formerly UCC 2B
Court Cases/Legal Decisions
Conference on Fair Use (CONFU)
Summary of International Copyright and IP Activites
Intellectual Property: An Assessment of International ImplicationsCopyright, Education, and Technology: Facing the Challenges: A Web-based Workshop Series. Co-Sponsored by ARL and University of Maryland University College
Amicus Brief: Hyperlaw v. West Publishing Company
Opinion regarding copyrightability of West's Changes to the text of Decisions
Opinion and dissesnt regarding copyrightability of West's pagination
Additional Information

Copyright/Intellectual Property Articles from the ARL Newsletter
Copyright and the NII: Resources for the Library and Education Community

United States Intellectual Propery Issues
Fair Use in the Electronic Age: Serving the Public Interest, a joint statement from several library associations (1998)
University of California Copyright Task Force Report
U.S. Copyright Act of 1976(Section 106 and Section 107 on FTP)
Intellectual Property: An ARL Statement of Principles
Copyright Timeline
Digital Rights Management (DRM) Resources
1995 Open Letter on copyright awareness
Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and Research Libraries

Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL)
CARL Copyright page

Canadian Intellectual Property Office
Frequently asked questions

Central and Eastern European Licensing Information Platform (CELIP)

"A project coordinated by EBLIDA. Electronic journals and other Web products represent a growing market. Citizens require more and easier access to electronic documents. Libraries play a key role here, involving major changes in library purchasing habits. In the electronic enviroment, librarians continue to purchase physical objects e.g. books but now also access to electronic material. For this, licensing agreements are needed. Licenses must be negotiated with national and international publishers. Understanding this fast developing market to CEE countries, librarians require training. CELIP will support the development of the professional skills of librarians in CEE countries in this crucial area of licensing."

Digital Future Coalition

"The Digital Future Coalition (DFC) is committed to striking an appropriate balance in law and public policy between protecting intellectual property and affording public access to it. The DFC is the result of a unique collaboration of many of the nation's leading non-profit educational, scholarly, library, and consumer groups, together with major commercial trade associations representing leaders in the consumer electronics, telecommunications, computer, and network access industries."

Copyright Management Center and Obtaining Permission to Use Copyrighted Works for Educational Use
See especially Checklist for Fair Use

The Copyright Management Center (CMC) serves the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) and larger Indiana University community with the management of copyright issues arising in the creation of original works and in the use of existing copyrighted works for teaching, research, and service. Indiana University is a complex organization with ambitious programs for the creation and dissemination of new knowledge. IUPUI, in particular, provides a broad mix of academic programs with a rich agenda for creative teaching and ambitious research. The CMC originated at IUPUI in 1994 specifically in response to those needs; it was the first office of its kind at any college or university in the United States.

Library of Congress Copyright Office
Trademark and Other Intellectual Property Resource Guide

Music Library Association
A Guide to Copyright for Music Librarians

Music Production School
Copyright Resources
The Music Production Industry and Copyright Laws

Stanford University Law School
Stanford Law School Center for Internet and Society (CIS)

Stanford University Libraries
Copyright & Fair Use
Swain Chemistry Library Copyright Resources

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)

"... is an international organization dedicated to promoting the use and protection of works of the human spirit. These works intellectual property are expanding the bounds of science and technology and enriching the world of the arts. Through its work, WIPO plays an important role in enhancing the quality and enjoyment of life, as well as creating real wealth for nations."

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