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This wiki space is for OSU Libraries Copyright Information. Here you will find resources related to the ever complex world of Copyright.

Resources for Subject Librarians securing copyright permissions for digitization projects

OSU Resources

General Resources

  • Copyright Management Center (IUPUI). The CMC website gives a comprehensive overview to copyright issues.  Includes information on Fair use issues, permissions, and copyright ownership. Highly Recommended, A Must Read
  • Copyright and Fair Use Center Stanford University Libraries.This is extensive website from Stanford University Libraries includes information copyright basics, current issues and legislation, key copyright websites, and resources for librarians. The website also has a section dedicated to commentary and analysis. Highly Recommended, A Must Read
  • Complete Copyright, an Everyday Guide for Librarians_, by Carrie Russell. Highly recommended by Cliff Mead and Sue Kunda. A good overview.
  • University of Texas Crash Course in Copyright The website is similar to the Stanford and Purdue site.  There is some discussion of digital library issues.
  • Copyright Information and Education University of Minnesota Libraries
  • University of Chicago always has a useful guide to copyright.  The OSU Press recommends it.
  • Duke Law School comic book on copyright and public domain This is highly readable, 75 pages long with references at the end.  When did you last see a comic book with references?
  • The Copyright Advisory Network encourages libraries to discuss copyright concerns and get feedback from colleagues and experts.
  • NSF Grant Policy Manual has language about government rights to non-exclusive, free use of products
    from research that it sponsors. These secitons, 732.2b and 732.2d, are particularly relevent.
    • 732.2b: Copyright Ownership, Government License. Except as otherwise
      specified in the grant or by this paragraph, the grantee may own or
      permit others to own copyright in all subject writings. The grantee
      agrees that if it or anyone else does own copyright in a subject
      writing, the Federal government will have a non-exclusive,
      nontransferable, irrevocable, royalty-free license to exercise or have
      exercised for or on behalf of the U.S. throughout the world all the
      exclusive rights provided by copyright. Such license, however, will not
      include the right to sell copies or photorecords of the copyrighted
      works to the public.
    • 732.2d: Grantee Action to Protect Government Interests. The grantee
      agrees to acquire, through written agreement or an employee
      relationship, the ability to comply with the requirements of the
      preceding paragraphs and, in particular, to acquire the ability to
      convey rights in a subject writing to a foreign participant if directed
      by NSF under the previous paragraph. The grantee further agrees that any
      transfer of copyright or any other rights to a subject writing, by it or
      anyone whom it has allowed to own such rights, will be made subject to
      the requirements of this article.

Investigating Copyright Status

  • How to Investigate the Copyright Status of a Work Also known as Circular 22, from the Library Congress. U.S. Copyright Office. "Copyright"
  • "Copyright Determinator" Known officially as the Copyright Renewal Database. The Standford UniversityLibraries and Academic Information Resources(SULAIR) has developed at
  • Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States
    Produced by very knowledgeable Peter Hirtle, Intellectual Property Officer for Cornell University Libraries, this user friendly table illustrates when published and unpublished materials pass into the public domain. Highly Recommended, A Must Read
  • When U.S. Works Pass Into the Public DomainLolly Gassaway
    Similar to Peter Hirtle's chart "Copyright and the Public Domain". Gassaway's chart deals exclusively with published works.
  • United States Copyright Office This is an excellent place to begin your copyright research. Go to the section the reads "Search Copyright Records". Coverage is 1978 -
  • Orphan Works Best Practices (Preferred Resource)
    Published by the Society of American Archivists, this document provides librarians, archivists, etc., the information they need to make informed decisions about using orphan works. "Orphan works is a term used to describe the situation in which the owner of a copyrighted work cannot be identified and located by someone who wishes to make use of the work in a manner that requires permission of the copyright owner." Society of American Archivists.
  •  Watch File: Writers, Artists and Their Copyright Holders This is a database of copyright contact information for writers, artists and prominent figures in creative fields and is jointly run by UT Austin Harry Ransom Humanties Research Center and the University of Reading.
  • Public documents - State of OregonEmail from Robert Hulshof-Schmidt, copyright specialist at the State Library, to Susan Gilmont (HMSC)  re: Copyright Issues for Public Documents
  • FAQ on Copyright in Government Works This page is from CENDI(Commerce, Energy, NASA, Defense Information Managers Group) examines how copyright applies to works  created by the U.S. Government.
  • Cornell University has updated (2010) their "Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States" chart, identifying what is copyrighted and what is in the public domain by the type of work, date of publication, etc.

Determing Fair Use

The Four Factors

Sample Permission Letters and Releases

OSU Presentations

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