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Copyright Toolkit

Fair Use Week

Fair Use Week typically takes place around the last week of February. It is a good time of year to remind the community the importance of Fair Use and how you are allowed to use copyrighted materials. Below are links to the Fair Use Week organization and infographics. 

The Association of Research Libraries has a good inforgraphic which discusses the importance of academic freedom and balanced copyright

Infographics: Fair Use & Copyright

A Fairy(Use) Tale

This video was put together by Professor Eric Faden of Bucknell University. It describes through the use clips from Disney movies the nature of copyright. 

Search for Copyright & Orphaned Works

Searching for Copyright
Knowing where to look in a search to find out if a work is copyrighted is an important task. The sites below provide information on searching for works that still have copyright owners.

The United States Copy Right Office has a search engine available. It's not the most user friendly and only contain works after 1978.

SonicBids Blog provides a list of sites to search for music copyrights. Sites they recommend include ASCAP Ace Database, WorldCat, and ISWC (International Standard Musical Work Code). They also give brief instructions on how to do your search.

The Library of Congress has a large database with old recordings of music and sounds. They provide copyright information for each work they have available.

Orphaned Works
These are works that are copyrighted but whose copyright holder cannot be identified or contacted. This does not mean that you can use these works as you choose. Steps should be made in trying to find and contact the copyright holder. 

The Association of Research Libraries provides a research packet on this topic.

The Center for Media & Social Impact provides information as well.

ALA Links

Copy Talk Webinar Archive
Here you will find discussions on various topics on copyright. Topics include but not limited to orphaned works, copyright court cases and new technologies.

Copyright Tools
This ALA toolkit discusses copyright and fair use.  The toolkit describes the rights of the author and four factors of fair use. Additional links and resources are provided as well.

Public Domain Works

Even though Copyright laws have restricted the amount of work that have entered the public domain there are still lots of resources available if you know where to look. Remember that since the works found on these pages on public domain you are free to use them however you wish.