This page provides references to sources related to copyright in higher education for both creators of scholarly information and users; the site is not intended to serve as legal advice.
What is copyright?
Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States to the creators of "original works of authorship" …. This protection is available to both published and unpublished works … [and] generally gives the owner of copyright the exclusive right to do and to authorize others to reproduce the work in copies; to prepare derivative works based upon the work; to distribute copies; and to perform and display the work publicly.
(From the U.S. Copyright Office)
For users of (possibly) copyrighted material
How do you legally share scholarly works with your students and colleagues?
Know your Copy Rights
Produced by the Association of Research Libraries, this page links to several versions of a brochure that provides tips for faculty and teaching assistants in higher education. Offers Includes information on Fair Use and uses permitted by licenses.
How do you incorporate copyrighted material into your scholarship?
Conditions of Use and Licensing Restrictions for Electronic Resources
From the UC Berkeley Library, this page lists general principles for what is and is not permitted under the licensing terms of most electronic resources.
Using Copyrighted Works
A resource for the University of California community.
Books from before 1923 are public domain. Books from 1923-~1963 had to show a copyright notice and had to be renewed (after approximately 27 years). This flowchart from Sunstein, Kann, Murphy and Timbers LLC shows more specifically how to determine where a particular work falls in the private or public domain. According to the Center for the Study of the Public Domain at Duke University Only 7% of authors renewed their books. This renewal search database at Rutgers might help you determine if the work you are interested in was renewed. If the renewal date was after 1978, the item should be found in the official Copyright Registration search engine.
Facts, and according to many campus copyright offices (e.g. the UMich Copyright Office), the tables that contain them, are not copyrightable. However, of course, credit must be given.
This section contained a lot of external links. Unfortunately that makes them somewhat prone to disappearing. Please let us know if any of the links in this section are no longer going to where they are intended to.
For creators and owners of copyrighted materials
As a creator of scholarly information how can you protect your intellectual property?
Produced by the University of California, this site describes how you can protect your copyright.
What you can do: Manage Your Rights
From the UC Berkeley Library Scholarly Communication website, this page describes how authors can retain copyright, and maximize their options for dissemination. Included are links to a copyright addendum to modify your copyright transfer agreement allowing you, as the author, to retain your copyright.
Frequently Asked Questions
UC Copyright: Frequently Asked Questions
From the University of California Copyright Education website.
UC Copyright Education website
From which much of the information on this site is derived.
Copyright and Fair Use
From Stanford, a compilation of materials related to copyright with an emphasis on Fair Use.
Copyright Basics (PDF)
From the U.S. Copyright Office.
Copyright Law for Librarians and Educators
From the American Library Association.
Copyright Quick Guide
From the Columbia University Libraries/Copyright Advisory Office.
Copyright Resources on the Web
A list of sites to keep you current on issues related to copyright. From the March 2007 issue of C&RL News.
Fair Use of Copyrighted Materials
A primer on Fair Use from the University of Texas system.