Vol. 11, No. 6, April 2009 

Copyright/Fair Use

[Updated 7/06/12]


The United States Copyright Office

If you haven't checked out The Library of Congress U.S. Copyright Office web page lately, it's worth a return visit. In addition to the predictable Copyright Basics link and a single sheet on fair use there are interesting links to issues like "orphan works" and reports like this recent one from The Section 108 Study Group, a committee of copyright experts "charged with updating for the digital world the Copyright Act's balance between the rights of creators and copyright owners and the needs of libraries and archives." The "Law" link at the top brings you to an interior page that not only lists the copyright statutes and regulations, but also a link to the most recent legislation proposed having to do with copyright.

Copyright and Fair Use

An interesting selection of cases on the front page that changes daily. Check out the "Charts and Tools" link, where you will find Is It Still Copyright, a system of drop down menus one can use to check if the copyright for select works published between 1923 and 1963 was renewed.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation

Surprisingly, EFF was founded in 1990, long before many of us had our first email account and has as its mission confronting "cutting-edge issues defending free speech, privacy, innovation, and consumer rights today." EFF has a primer on fair use but EFF is about much more than fair use. Be sure to check out their most recent library of whitepapers.

Chilling Effects

Chilling Effects is a collaborative project between the Electronic Frontier Foundation and copyright clinics at Harvard, Stanford, Berkeley, University of San Francisco, University of Maine, George Washington School of Law, and Santa Clara University School of Law. It is designed to address questions that arise in the online environment, for example, "Have you received a letter asking you to remove information from a Web site or to stop engaging in an activity?" "Are you concerned about liability for information that someone else posted to your online forum?" With its database of "cease and desist" letters, Chilling Effects gives an interesting perspective on what's going on in the copyright wars. While this site does not have the polish of some, it has carved out a unique niche. If you are a blogger, this is definitely a site you will want to tag.


The American Association of Law Libraries has a particularly useful site for those of us in the Library world, with a good section on the fair use and first sale doctrines.


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