It is impossible to honor professional cores values of librarians—first amendment, equity of access, and inclusion—without copyright law. Without it, libraries would be unable to loan books, preserve content, and exercise fair use. Libraries have a privileged position in the law with individual exceptions that apply only to non-profit libraries and archives.
This resource guide presents information on the intersection of copyright law and libraries, including information on fair use, the first sale doctrine, reproductions, copyright and non-print media, and special topics in copyright.
Please note that ALA cannot give legal advice. If you need legal advice, you should contact an intellectual property attorney.
The Copyright Advisory Network (CAN) exists to help librarians understand copyright law and appreciate the important role that they can play in serving the public “to advance the progress of science and the useful arts.” We use the Network to respond to copyright questions posed by librarians, but perhaps—more importantly, help librarians learn about copyright from a broader perspective, primarily its impact on information policy issues fundamental to our profession, including free expression, equitable access to information, censorship, and intellectual freedom.
This site offers information on copyright policy, copyright clearance services, and copyright training and tutorials for the Cornell community. It is designed to raise our awareness of the overarching issues, and to answer some of the questions that faculty, staff, and students frequently articulate. If you have questions about using copyrighted materials, whether in e-reserves, on course management sites, on other sites, or in face-to-face classroom settings, we hope you'll find the answers you're looking for here. If you don't find the answers you need, contact us!
The purpose of the LCA is to develop a unified voice and common strategy for the library community in responding to issues regarding national and international copyright law and policy in the digital environment. The LCA’s mission is to foster global access and fair use of information for creativity, research, and education.
The Stanford Copyright & Fair Use site includes primary case law, statutes, regulations, as well as current feeds of newly filed copyright lawsuits, pending legislation, regulations, copyright office news, scholarly articles, blog and twitter feeds from practicing attorneys and law professors. Its emphasis is on copyright issues especially relevant to the education and library community, including examples of fair use and policies. Useful copyright charts and tools are continually added to help users evaluate copyright status and best practices.