Over the past several years, Michael Brewer (Senior Information Resources Officer (Interim) - University of Arizona Libraries/Chair of the American Library Association Copyright Advisory Subcommittee) and the American Library Association Copyright Advisory Subcommittee 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 and links are provided below.
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).
These tools are available under the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial Share Alike License. The Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial Share Alike license allows you to modify and use this tool under specific circumstances. Visit: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/.
- Copyright Genie
Use this tool to decide if something is copyrighted.
- Digital Image Rights Computator
Use this tool to help assess the intellectual property status of a specific image.
- Exceptions for Instructors eTool
The Exceptions for Instructors eTool guides users through the educational exceptions in U.S. copyright law, helping to explain and clarify rights and responsibilities for the performance and display of copyrighted content in traditional, distance and blended educational models.
- Fair Use Evaluator Toolkit
Use this tool to decide if your use meets Fair Use under the U.S. Copyright Code.
- Public Domain Slider Tool
The Public Domain Slider is a tool to help determine the copyright status of a work that is first published in the United States. Most of us know that any work published before 1923 is in the public domain, but the copyright status for copyrighted works after 1923 can be difficult to determine because of varying copyright registration requirements over the years and because the term of copyright has changed a number of times. The good news is that there are many works in the public domain that have been published after 1923 because registration was not renewed and/or the copyright symbol – © – does not appear on the work. If a work is in the public domain, you are free to use that work in any way that you choose – digitize it, re-publish it, post it on the web etc. – of course with appropriate attribution.
For those works that are still protected by copyright, don’t forget to consider fair use to determine if the work can be used in other, more limited ways.
- Section 108 Spinner
Section 108 of the U.S. Copyright Code allows libraries & archives, under certain circumstances, to make reproductions of copyrighted materials without the permission of the copyright holder. This simple tool can help you determine whether or not a particular reproduction is covered by this exemption.
- U.S. Copyright Office Search Copyright Information Tool
This allows you to search the U.S. Copyright Catalog from 1978 to the present.