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Copyright Research Guide

A list of online resources containing information about determining copyright status and obtaining permission to publish copyrighted materials.

Guides and Tutorials

Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States chart
This quick guide helps determine public domain status (updated yearly), and also includes information on sound recordings and architecture.

The Committee on Intellectual Property's section of the College Art Association website
Resources on U.S. copyright: Fundamentals and Documents; Image Sources and Rights Clearance Agencies; Fair Use Guidelines, Practices, and Policies; Copyright Outside the United States and Legal Assistance.

University of Minnesota Libraries Copyright Services, Using Copyrightable Materials
Includes "Thinking Through Fair Use," a worksheet that helps you conduct a four-factor review of your proposed fair use.

Teaching Copyright
This curriculum is designed to give teachers a comprehensive set of tools to educate students about copyright while incorporating activities that exercise a variety of learning skills.

Orphan Works: Statement of Best Practices
This statement from the Society of American Archivists describes the best practices regarding reasonable efforts to identify and locate rights holders.

Reproduction of Copyrighted Works by Educators and Librarians
Provides information regarding reproductions and fair use for purpose of study, research, and teaching.

American Library Association Copyright Advisory Network
Resource includes: Copyright Genie, to help determine if a work is covered by copyright and calculate its term of protection.

American Library Association Copyright Advisory Network (Fair Use)
Resource includes: Fair Use Evaluator, to help you determine determine the "fairness" of a use under the U.S. Copyright Code.

Foreign Copyright Chart
A quick guide of copyright law for non-US copyrighted works

Is it in the Public Domain?
A handbook for evaluating the copyright status of a work created in the United States between January 1, 1923 and December 31, 1977. 

Copyright & Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for Digitization for U.S. Libraries, Archives, & Museums
Provides guidelines and best practices for digitizing archival collections; includes case studies.

Rights and Reproductions: The Handbook for Cultural Institutions
Offers rights and reproduction guidelines, standards, and best practices; includes topics such as fair use, Creative Commons, open access, and 

Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts
Provides best practices in assessing fair use in visual arts. 

Visual Resources Association: Statement on the Fair Use of Images for Teaching, Research and Study
Describes six uses of copyrighted still images that the Visual Resources Association believes fall within the U.S. fair use doctrine.