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Copyright Guide - Copyright Basics

  • The Copyright statute is available from the U.S. Copyright Office.
  • Georgia Harper at the University of Texas System developed the Copyright Crash Course. She has since retired, but the UT Libraries maintain the tutorial and keep it up to date. It has sections on managing your creative output, building on the works of others, and institutional management of both copyright and risk.
  • Laura Gasaway's Public Domain Chart is a good starting point for trying to figure out what is in the public domain. For greater detail, Peter Hirtle's Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States digs into more use cases.
  • Alternatively, this digital "slider" from the American Library Association helps you determine if an item by a personal author is covered by copyright or in the public domain. Click in the date range of your item and your answer shows up in the box.
  • The European Commission's Europeana Connect project now offer a Public Domain Calculator to help determine the status of works published throughout Europe.
  • The UA Office of General Counsel prepared a Fair Use Checklist. Check the boxes that apply to your use to help make a personal judgment if your specific use is fair. At the end you can create a PDF for your records.
  • The U.S. Copyright Office offers online registration forms through their Electronic Copyright Office.
  • WATCH (Writers, Artists, and Their Copyright Holders)
  • Information on Locating Copyright Holders from the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center.
  • Copyright Renewal Database
  • "This database makes searchable the copyright renewal records received by the US Copyright Office between 1950 and 1993 for books published in the US between 1923 and 1963. Note that the database includes ONLY US Class A (book) renewals."

Last modified: October 3, 2016