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Copyright Resources


U.S. Copyright Law

U.S.Copyright Office
The site where you can register your copyrights, renew copyrights, search copyright records, and learn more about copyright law.

U.S. Code: Title 17 - COPYRIGHTS
Title 17 of the U.S. Code is also known as the U.S. Copyright Act. It includes every section of U.S. copyright law.

Reusing Content 

Cite it Right
This product of University of Texas at San Antonio, guides users through MLA, APA, Chicago, and other citation styles.

Using Copyrighted and Library Content
This guide was created by librarians at K-State to help faculty, staff, students, and researchers understand how they can legally and ethically use copyrighted and library content in academic research, public performances, film showings, instruction, essays & writings, videos, music, and other creative projects.

Guide to Analyzing Any U.S. Copyright Problem Infographic 
This infographic can help you analyze any copyright problem when it comes to reusing content, and it will help guide you through an appropriate solution for your individual needs. For a more in-depth look at the guide, see the next resource (below).  

Guide to Analyzing Any U.S. Copyright Problem 
This is the framework originally created by Kevin Smith and Lisa Macklin with some revisions added for the K-State community.

Faculty Reuse in the Classroom

Sharing Content in a Closed Online Classroom
This page will assist you in understanding how to legally and ethically reuse others' content in a closed online classroom (e.g., Canvas, Blackboard). Some resources provided are K-State specific, but many are general and can apply to the majority of closed online classrooms in the U.S.

Exceptions for Instructors eTool Guide
This tool helps you determine if your intended use meets the requirements set out in the law and provides a PDF document for your records.

Interactive Guide to Using Copyrighted Media in Your Courses
This interactive guide, which is depicted as an underground metro, from Baruch College at the City University of New York helps faculty determine the appropriate guidelines to follow for using different types of media in face-to-face classes and online classes.

TEACH Act Checklists
TEACH Act Checklists
Instructors at any nonprofit educational institution can use these checklists when determining whether they can use copyrighted works in their closed online classroom. Two checklists are provided, one for use of dramatic works (e.g., films) and one for use of nondramatic works (e.g., music, poetry, literature).

K-State TEACH Act Checklists
K-State instructors & faculty can use these checklists when determining whether they can use copyrighted works in their closed online classroom. Two checklists are provided, one for use of dramatic works (e.g., films) and one for use of nondramatic works (e.g., music, poetry, literature).

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Public Domain & Determining Copyright Status

What is the Public Domain (2:10)
Ever wonder what Public Domain content is? Have you ever wondered what your usage rights are regarding Public Domain items in your own productions? Good, then this video is for you!

Copyrightability of Tables, Charts, and Graphs
This resource from the University of Michigan explains how to determine whether tables, charts, and graphs have copyright protection.

Copyright Genie
The Copyright Genie will walk you through the steps to determine if a work is in copyright and, if it is, when it will enter the public domain.

Digital Copyright Slider
From the American Library Association's Office for Information Technology Policy, a visual and interactive way to figure out if something is under copyright.

Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the U.S. - Reference Table 
An excellent reference table for figuring out if a work is in the public domain and if it isn't, the table also provides the length of the copyright term. It's especially useful if the work you are investigating was created or published outside the United States.

List of Resources for Finding Works in the Public Domain
This list is provided by the Public Domain Review, an online journal and not-for-profit project dedicated to the exploration of curious and compelling works from the history of art, literature, and ideas.

Determining Copyright Registrations and Renewals

Copyright Renewals Database
This is a database of copyright renewal records for US Class A (book) renewals received by the US Copyright Office between 1950 and 1992 for books published in the US between 1923 and 1963.

Catalog of Copyright Entries
These PDF files can be used to find copyright registration and renewal records for items that aren’t US Class A (books) renewals. Note: Copyright renewal had to occur sometime during the 28th year, however sometimes the Library of Congress could be slow in publishing said renewals. To maximize the search, look for the renewal records from the 27th to the 29th year.

Investigating Copyright Status and Ownership

How to Investigate the Copyright Status of a Work
This is Circular 22 from the U.S. Copyright Office. It provides information on methods used to investigate the status of a copyrighted work, which can often become complex and murky. 

The WATCH File
Writers Artists and Their Copyright Holders is a database of copyright contacts for writers, artists, and prominent figures in other creative fields. It can help you discover copyright holders of items as well as their contact information.

Orphan Works: Statement of Best Practices 
This is a statement of best practices for tracking down copyright holders and the reasonable efforts necessary to do so.

Licensing and Open Access

Creative Commons
A non-profit organization that works to increase the amount of scholarly works (cultural, educational, and scientific content) in "the commons" — the body of work that is available to the public for free and legal sharing, use, repurposing, and remixing.

Science Commons
A Creative Commons project "meant to lift legal and technical barriers to research and discovery".

"The Beauty of Some Rights Reserved: An introduction to Copyright, Publishing and Creative Commons
Molly Kleinman's presentation on copyright during Open Access Week 2010.

Fair Use

Fair Use Evaluator
Use the fair use evaluator tool in order to better understand the four factors of fair use and make your own evaluation of your use of a copyrighted work. The tool generates a PDF of the evaluation for your own records.

Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and Research Libraries
This code of best practices addresses such scenarios as reserves, preservation digitization, and reproduction of materials for use by disabled users.

Copyright and Your Dissertation or Thesis: Ownership, Fair Use, and Your Rights and Responsibilities
An excellent guide to copyright issues typically encountered in graduate research.

Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use of Collections Containing Orphan Works
This statement of best practices provides a pragmatic approach for libraries, archives, and other memory institutions for using fair use when including orphan works in large digital collections.

Fair use Without Fear in the Academy 
The lead presenters are Peter Jaszi and Brandon Butler of American University's Washington College of Law.  The presenters describe the growth of the fair use doctrine and the ways that communities, including scholars, are taking advantage of their fair use rights to get things done.

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K-State and State of Kansas Specific Resources

K-State Intellectual Property Policy
This document describes Kansas State University's policies and associated institutional procedures for intellectual property.

Kansas Board of Regents Policy & Procedures Manual
Intellectual Property Policy from the Kansas Board of Regents.

K-State's DMCA agent
Contact information for the individual designated to receive notification of claims of copyright infringement.

Illegal File Sharing at K-State
Sharing and downloading copyrighted music, movies, and games from the Internet without proper authorization is considered piracy-a violation of federal copyright laws and K-State policy.

K-State Peer-to-Peer (P2P) File Sharing Policy
The purpose of this policy is to articulate Kansas State University's position on the use of Peer-to-Peer file sharing applications and the unauthorized acquisition or distribution of copyrighted or licensed material.

K-State Course Syllabi Copyright Statement
These Course Syllabi statements are provided by the Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President. The Copyright Statement can be found under "Optional Syllabi Statements".

Showing Films at K-State
Guidelines for student organizations wanting to show films publicly on campus.

Policy on the Use of Copyrighted Works in Education and Research
Policy setting forth K-State's position on the use of copyrighted works in education and research, meeting the requirements of the Technology, Education, and Copyright Harmonization ("TEACH") Act of 2002's safe harbor provision.

Using Media in the Classroom
Instructors often wish to use media, such as films and music, in the classroom. This guide provides more information on using media in the classroom.