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Copyright Basics: Getting Started

About this guide

This Library Guide to copyright information provides practical information and guidance in handling the copyright issues confronting educators and students.  Not caring to reinvent the wheel, I have pulled together sources of information about copyright primarily from the Columbia University Copyright Advisory Office (CAO) and the U.S. Government.

This guide does not supply legal advice nor is it intended to replace the advice of legal counsel.

Basic Information about Copyright

Most copyright questions that we face at the University level arise from issues of ownership of new works and fair use of exisiting works.  Copyright Law provides the foundation to address most of these issues, but it can be confusing and often out of date for new media.  In this LibGuide I will be referencing Kenneth Crew and the Copyright Advisory Office at Columbia Univeristy.

Copyright Sites

Columbia Copyright Advisory Office  "The Copyright Advisory Office (CAO) was established at Columbia University in January 2008, and its mission will surely evolve int he coming years.  Its central function, however is to address in an innovative, creative, and pragmatic manner the relationship between copyright law and the work of the university community." 

United States Copyright Office  "The Copyright Office is an office of record, a place where claims to copyright are registered and where documents relating to copyright may be recorded when the requirements of the copyright law are met. The Copyright Office furnishes information about the provisions of the copyright law and the procedures for making a registration or recordation, explains the operations and practices of the Copyright Office, and reports on facts found in the public records of the Office."

Copyright Clearance Center  "Copyright issues have never been more complex or controversial. Gain a deeper understanding of how copyright affects you with Copyright Clearance Center’s informative training sessions, videos, podcasts, news and resources." 

Copyright Crash Course  Georgia Harper's site from the University of Texas at Austin.

Cornell University Copyright  

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Adrienne Aluzzo
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