“Over the past several years, Michael Brewer and the Copyright Advisory Subcommittee of the ALA Office for Information Technology Policy have been developing tools to educate librarians, educators and others about copyright. These now include the Public Domain slider, the Section 108 Spinner, the Fair Use Evaluator, and the Exceptions for Instructors eTool. These tools are all available online for anyone to use or link to.
Using these educational tools can help educators and others become more comfortable utilizing the limitations and exceptions to the exclusive rights granted to the copyright holder under U. S. Copyright law. By exercising these valuable exceptions, we strengthen copyright’s primary purpose-“to promote the progress of science and useful arts” (U. S. Constitution, Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8).–From the website.
“Copyright Clearance Center (CCC) is pleased to offer the OnCopyright Education Certificate Program. Developed for professionals who deal with copyright issues on a day-to-day basis, the program is comprised of industry-specific courses that target a variety of user communities and the challenges faced in managing copyright. “–From the website.
The U. S. Copyright Office now has a toll-free number, 1-877-476-0778, and when you call you have several options that will allow you to request publications or get recorded information; to get technical support for online registration; or to talk to an Information Specialist about copyright or registration requirements.
“ACE is a database of song titles licensed by ASCAP in the United States. For each title, you can find the names of the songwriters and the names, contact persons, addresses and, in most cases, phone numbers of publishers to contact if you want to use the work. For most of the titles, you’ll find some of the artists who have made a commercial recording.”–From the website
Here are two easy-to-use tools that might be helpful for anyone with a question about whether or not an item is protected by copyright:
Copyright Digital Slider
This tool, from the ALA, is a quick and easy way to determine if a work is in the public domain or if permission is needed for its use.
Copyright Term and the Public Domain
This chart, from Cornell, contains a lot more detail, but it is well-designed and still very easy to use.
Stanford’s Copyright Renewal Database “makes searchable the copyright renewal records received by the US Copyright Office between 1950 and 1993 for books published in the US between 1923 and 1963.”
According to the site: “The period from 1923-1963 is of special interest for US copyrights, as works published after January 1, 1964 had their copyrights automatically renewed by the 1976 Copyright Act, and works published before 1923 have generally fallen into the public domain. Between those dates, a renewal registration was required to prevent the expiration of copyright, however determining whether a work’s registration has been renewed is a challenge. Renewals received by the Copyright Office after 1977 are searchable in an online database, but renewals received between 1950 and 1977 were announced and distributed only in a semi-annual print publication. The Copyright Office does not have a machine-searchable source for this renewal information, and the only public access is through the card catalog in their DC offices.”
Created by academics in the United Kingdom, this site provides university and college students with a free tutorial on developing internet research skills. “The tutorial looks at the critical thinking required when using the Internet for research and offers practical advice on evaluating the quality of web sites.” The site also covers scholarly research, hoaxes, copyright issues, citations and plagiarism.