Landman Library

Copyright Resources

What else is available to help understand the complexities?



Fair Use Analysis Tool

Analysis of Fair Use is actually like using an old-fashioned balance scale.

This text-based tool gives you a sense of this. It doesn’t assign weight automatically—you have to do that yourself—but it still helps you to conduct an analysis. Then print out the results for your records.

Public Domain Slider

The digital version of an analog tool can help you understand if a work has entered the public domain (in the U.S.) because its copyright protection has expired.

The Adobe-Flash-based tool factors in how copyright law has changed over time and how those changes have affected what's in the public domain. If a work is in the public domain, you don’t need to seek copyright permissions and can use it freely.



U.S. Copyright Office  The authoritative website of the office that formally registers copyrights.

Copyright @ American Library Association  A product of the oldest and largest library association in the US.

About Copyright @ Copyright Clearance Center  CCC is both a copyright information source and a comprehensive copyright permission service.

Creative Commons  Copyright reserves all rights of copying ("all rights reserved") to the copyright owner. A Creative Commons license reserves some rights ("some rights reserved") so that users have more flexibility to use works without worrying about infringing. More introduction.

Copyright and Fair Use: Stanford University Libraries  This excellent website is thorough and well-designed. Curated by a copyright lawyer, it features briefs of a host of legal cases and related articles.

Copyright Timelines

Timeline of Copyright Milestones  A history in brief of important copyright developments in the U.S. from the Library of Congress. There’s a little bit of a statutory law perspective.

Copyright Timeline  A more detailed history of copyright from the Association of Research Libraries (ARL). Here there’s a little bit of a case law perspective.


Primary Sources

U.S. Constitution

The Constitution (Article 1, Section 8) protects the right of the creator of a work to its exclusive use: The Congress shall have Power…To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries…

Copyright Law of the United States of America

The Copyright Law of the United States of America gets revised periodically by different legislative acts that you might hear about in the news (Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act, TEACH Act, DMCA). All these revisions end up in the Copyright Law in the latest version of the United States Code where it lives.

The Conference on Fair Use (CONFU)

CONFU was a serious attempt to determine what constitutes fair use that united 93 public and private copyright-owning and copyright-using entities to negotiate a consensus. The effort, which took place in 1996 during the presidency of Bill Clinton, met little success because of conflicting interests. It was a demonstration of the challenges of finding balance that satisfies both owners and users of copyrighted material



The Glossary is a dictionary specifically for copyright.
The included terms are linked throughout The Copyright Desk's webpages.