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Stony Brook University

Copyright, Fair Use & the Creative Commons: Copyright Basics

This guide provides students, faculty and staff information and resources for copyright, fair use and the Creative Commons.

Government Information

U.S. Copyright Office: This site includes general copyright information as well as information about searching records, publications, and more information.

Digital Millenium Copyright Act

College & University Copyright Centers

Cornell University, Copyright Information Center

Standford University Libraries, Copyright and Fairuse

George Mason University Libraries, Copyright Resources Office

University of Maryland University Center, Center for Intellectual Property

  • Including the blog Collectanea, collected perspectives on copyright

North Carolina State University Libraries, Digital Scholarship and Publishing Center

University of Texas System, Crash Course in Copyright

Washington State University, University Publishing Center and Copyright

Whitman College Technology Services Copyright Information

Northern Kentucky University Creative Thinking class lessons, films, and activities on plagiarism and copyright awareness for the classroom. "Tied to national and state educational standards, this program offers everything needed to present engaging content for teens and young adults in multiple disciplines from junior high school through freshman level college courses. It could also be utilized for public library teen programs and community youth groups. The lesson content promotes research honesty and copyright consciousness for students. Both ethical and legal discussions are presented."

Open Access

The Bethesda Statement is the most generally accepted definition of Open Access in the U.S.:

By open access, we mean its immediate, free availability on the public internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search or link to the full text of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software or use them for any other lawful purpose…”

-The Budapest Open Access Initiative, 2003


Copyright Clearance Center

Representing copyright holders from nearly every country in the world, Copyright Clearance Center (CCC) is a global rights broker for millions of the world's most sought after materials, including in- and out-of-print books, journals, newspapers, magazines, images, blogs and ebooks. Founded in 1978 as a not-for-profit organization, today CCC promotes the seamless sharing of knowledge by creating innovative licensing solutions that let academic institutions, businesses, and individuals quickly get permission to use copyright-protected materials while compensating authors, publishers, and other content creators for the use of their works.

Orphan Works

“Orphan Works” are copyrighted works whose owners may be impossible to identify or locate.


Links for Librarians

An overall introduction to copyright: Carrie Russell, Complete Copyright: An Everyday Guide for Librarians, American Library Association, 2004.

Scott Burnham, "Copyright in Library-Held Materials: A Decision Tree for Librarians." Law Library Journal (Law Libr J) v. 96 no3 (Summer 2004) p. 425-48. Comment/response available.

Know Your Copy Rights...a Web site for librarians who are developing positive educational programs for academic users of copyrighted materials in US not-for-profit institutions.

Stanford Copyright & Fair Use guidelines and policies for libraries.

Copyright Advisory Network, a site is to encourage librarians to discuss copyright concerns and seek feedback and advice from fellow librarians and copyright specialists. The Network is sponsored by the American Library Association Office for Information Technology Policy.

American Association of Law Libraries

American Library Association

Association of Research Libraries

Berkeley Digital Library SunSITE: "The Berkeley Digital Library SunSITE builds digital collections and services while providing information and support to digital library developers worldwide."

Copyright for Music Librarians

Copyright Law and the Health Sciences Librarian

Copyright & Art Issues

Library Copyright Alliance

Copyright Clearance Center