Copyright Resources & Links

The academic community has to apply copyright law in an increasingly digital world—we've gathered some additional, respected resources to help you learn more about it.You'll find sites for coypright overviews, fair use explanations, permissions examples, multimedia use, and dissertation help.The sites on this page should not be considered a substitute for legal advice or for official university policy, but to help you make informed decisions.

Copright classes are held every semester for those who would like to know how copyright affects teaching and research. For more information on classes, check our CaseLearns Class schedule, or contact Karen Oye, Head of Customer Services, (368-5309) for more information about a class. Classes can be held in your department and tailored to the need of your audience.


Copyright Crash Course at the University of Texas. Explains copyright, fair use, myths, in easy-to-understand language. Use  the Crash Course Tutorial sidebar link, for the excellent and easy to read Fair Use test!

Public Domain Chart, Lolly Gasaway, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Determine what is in the public domain, and when.

Public Domain Chart. Peter Hirtle, Cornell. Published, unpublished, US, non-US works, extensive and informative notes.

Stanford's Copyright Renewal Database for U.S. books (only) published 1923-1963. If the title is not found in the database, it was not renewed and is now in the public domain. New resource, April 2007.

Copyright Advisory Office, Columbia University, Ken Crews, Director. A wide array of helpful Fair Use tools, court summaries, permission sample letters, &help in identifying copyright owners.

Intellectual Property and Copyright Information, TEACH Act Toolkit North Carolina State University Libraries. Georgia Harper. TEACH Act Toolkit, copyright checklists.

Stanford University. Comprehensive and searchable site with full-text of key legal sources. Links to related resources, government agencies & publications, copyright mailing lists and electronic discussion groups.

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) Focuses on copyright and research libraries, offers analysis and documents of impending legislation affecting education.


Stanford University links to information about fair use and art, film, music, and more multimedia.

Frequently Asked Questions about Film & Video, U.C. Berkely


Copyright Clearance Center: online permissions; a not-for-profit organization that coordinates publishers, authors, and copyright holders.

Association of American Publishers assistance in locating copyright holders.

Author's Registry, assistance in locating copyright holders.


Copyright Law of the United States Title 17. Excellent search engine to find the section you need.

U.S. Copyright Office: legislation, Copyright Circulars and publications, and press releases. A comprehensive site with instructions on registering your own copyright material,  many other related issues and links to copyright sites.

Consortium for Educational Technology for University Systems (CETUS) offers overview of copyright law and its importance to higher education.


Copyright Law & Graduate Research: New Media, New Rights and Your Dissertation prepared by Kenneth D. Crews with support from Proquest in conjunction with the Council of Graduate Schools. The manual serves as a guide to legal rights and responsibilities for graduate students and their advisors.

Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD) Copyright related to digital dissertations, current research related to ETDs, searching & locating ETDs.


Stanford's CIS, Center for Internet and Society, from their Law School, has produced a video that will challenge you about what's allowed. View after reading our copyright basics, and enjoy! A Fair(y) Use Tale

Copyright Clearance Center's Copyright Basics, a short video with a good overview on copyrights,  gets it about 98% right–listen to this fast-paced video and see if you can spot a couple of statements that are not entirely true (print & electronic do not always require permissions, and 'when in doubt' review your options, 4-factor fair use test, and don't automatically ask for permission.) The statutory exemption for Fair Use is a right that must be used to maintain its value. CCC has produced a very good video, but it is an organization that has focused on building a market for permissions. Enjoy, but remember to use your rights, when appropriate!

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