Copyright Information ResourcesHere are some of the websites I’ve used in the past to investigate the ins and outs of copyright law. Please remember that copyright law is complicated. The sites below are giving out copyright information to the best of their various abilities, but they are not giving legal advice. You should always seek out an attorney if you’re in doubt about the copyright status of something you want to include in your art.
- Circular 22: How to Investigate the Copyright Status of a Work ~ A nine page flyer in PDF format from copyright.gov discussing copyright law.
- Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States ~ A fairly easy to read chart published at Cornell University that tries to clarify when a work enters the public domain. Created by Peter B. Hirtle, Senior Policy Advisor, Cornell University Library.
- When is 1923 Going to Arrive and Other Complications of the Public Domain ~ Mr. Hirtle, the author of the above-mentioned chart discusses issues related to copyright laws and the public domain.
- A Flow Chart for Determining When U.S. Copyrights in Fixed Works Expire ~ From the law firm of Sunstein, Kann, Murphy and Timbers.
- Public Domain Sherpa Copyright Calculator ~ Here’s a little Question and Answer tool which could help you determine whether an item is in the public domain. Lots of other great information in relatively easy to understand language.
- The Copyright Advisory Network ~ A collection of tools to help determine Fair Use and Public Domain status of works.
- Copyright Website ~ An interesting compilation of case studies involving copyright infringement cases and their verdicts.
- Graphic Artists’ Guild ~ An interesting Q & A about copyright infringement and fair use for graphic artists.
- Copyright for Collage Artists ~ Although not updated since 2001, this site has some good information that you may find useful, at least as a starting point, and as it pertains specifically to collage art.
For further reading on issues relating to the public domain, Mr. Hirtle from Cornell University recommends the book titled The Public Domain: How to Find & Use Copyright-Free Writings, Music, Art & More by Stephen Fishman.