5 Copyright Resources

by Amanda May, Head Editor, INALJ North Dakota

5 Copyright Resources

Amanda MaySince finishing library school in May, I find that I am much more confident working as an information professional.  There is still one word that scares me though, and it’s copyright.  I’m definitely no expert in copyright, but I do have a few resources in my “librarian toolbox” that really help me out on a day-to-day basis.

Copyright Genie

Copyright Genie takes some of the confusion out of copyright rules.  It helps you find out if a work is covered by U.S. copyright.  It calculates the terms of its protection.  It also publishes your results as a PDF, so you can save it for your records or bring to copyright specialist for further questions.

Fair Use Evaluator

The Fair Use Evaluator helps you figure out if the use of copyrighted material falls under the fair use doctrine.  It helps you collect, organize, and archive the information that you may need to support a fair use evaluation.  It also publishes a PDF document for your records in case you may be asked by the copyright holder to provide your fair use evaluation and the data you used to support it.  There is also access to educational materials, external copyright resources, and contact information for copyright help at local and national levels.

Section 108 Spinner

Section 108 of the U.S. Copyright Code allows libraries and archives, under certain circumstances, to make reproductions of copyrighted materials without the permission of the copyright holder.  This tool can help you determine if your reproduction is covered by Section 108.  It also helps you collect information to support the use of the exception.  Your results can be published as a PDF.

Creative Commons

Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that enables the sharing and use of creativity and knowledge through free legal tools.  This site provides more information about Creative Commons it also includes CC Search, which provides access to creative commons search services provided by other independent organizations.

U.S. Copyright Office

The U.S. Copyright Office is part of the Library of Congress.  It is the official U.S. government body that maintains records of copyright registration in the United States.  This website has some of the most up-to-date information on copyright law.

These items are definitely helpful, but it is important to remember that they do not provide legal advice.  If you are unsure, I recommend contacting someone who specializes in copyright for further questions.