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For a quick reference to copyright basics, refer to this document.
For a deeper understaning, check out the links below.
US Copyright Law, Title 17
Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States (under title 17) to the authors of “original works of authorship,” including published and unpublished works.
For works created in and outside the US
Limitations of Copyright
Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use
of a copyrighted work, such as reproduction copies, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. See pages 89-100 for more specifics and examples.
Copyright Digitization Guidelines
Particularly for cultural institutions.
Copyright Assessment Tools
This web site presents information about copyright law. Walker Library makes every effort to assure the accuracy of this information but does not offer it as counsel or legal advice. Consult an attorney for advice concerning your specific situation.
Copyright Resources for Music
What is Public Domain?
The public domain is made up of of works that are ineligible for copyright protection or have expired copyrights. No permissions are needed to copy or use public domain works.
- Some works, such as government documents, statistical techniques and judicial opinions are simply not eligible for copyright and so are always within the public domain.
- Works published in the United States prior to 1923 are in the public domain.
- Works published between 1923 and March 1989 are usually under copyright , but registrations and renewals were required. This means that some of these works may have entered the public domain.
- All works created (published and unpublished) in the United States after 1989 are under copyright and require permissions for use unless a specific non-assertion of copyright was made.
For a helpful resource on which materials are under copyright and which are in the public domain please consult Cornell University's Copyright Term and the Public Domain webpage.