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Copyright Toolkit

fair use week

Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week is an annual celebration of the important doctrines of fair use and fair dealing. It is designed to highlight and promote the opportunities presented by fair use and fair dealing, celebrate successful stories, and explain these doctrines.

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

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. 

Fair Use Checklists

Columbia University Libraries

University System of Georgia  

Searching for Copyright

Knowing where to look in a search to find out if a work is copyrighted is an important task. The United States Copy Right Office has a search engine available. It's not the most user friendly and only contain works after 1978.

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.

Audio Files & Music

SONIC - Sound Online Inventory and Catalog Inventory and catalog of a large selection of recordings (music and spoken word, including radio) from the Recorded Sound Section of the Library of Congress.

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.

IMSLP - International Music Score Library Project
The ultimate goal of the IMSLP is to gather all public domain music scores, in addition to the music scores of all contemporary composers (or their estates) who wish to release them to the public free of charge. However, another main goal of IMSLP is to facilitate the exchange of musical ideas outside of compositions: for example, the analysis of a particular piece of music.

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.


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.


Fair Use For College

Fair Use Myths

Fair Use Creation

Fair Use Software

Fair Use and Libraries