Copyright and Fair Use
Information for Authors and Learned Societies
HEB provides the following page of important groups, information sources, individual articles, and specific issues available online.
The materials here are meant not as prescriptive guides to policy or practice, but as descriptive of useful and important issues that derive from the experience of HEB. The materials assembled here are also not meant to supplant the advice offered by publishers to authors or by copyright attorneys and other experts.
We hope that authors, especially younger scholars, will benefit from the experience and very specific legal decisions reflected in these materials and take a very careful look at the copyright and fair-use issues involved in planning, assembling, and completing their work for the scholarly public.
Since this page is a work in progress, we also urge scholars, legal experts, learned societies, journals and book publishers who are affected by these issues to contact us with further information on sites, groups, books, and articles, and with their questions and concerns.
To add online sites or information on copyright issues, please contact: General Information.
I. ACLS Fair Use Statement
The American Council of Learned Societies unequivocally endorses the principle of “fair use” for scholarly review, criticism, and discussion. It urges individual scholars to inform themselves on the principles of fair use, which are incorporated into the new copyright law, and to exercise this right in the pursuit of their scholarly work. The right of fair use is central to scholarship and the scholarly community and it should be embraced boldly. The ACLS recognizes that the exercise of fair use rights is the responsibility of the author: no publisher, editor, university, learned society, museum, or library can exercise this right for the scholar. The ACLS also notes, however, that these institutions should provide good guidance that supports the scholar and does not impede scholarly work with unnecessary and excessive permissions requests and fees.
II. General Information
The U. S. Copyright Office. Information and downloads available of the U. S. Copyright Act.
The U. S. Copyright Act from Cornell Law School.
The website of the Copyright Society of the USA.
The website of Find Law, an Internet legal resources index.
III. Copyright and Fair Use
Fair use as defined in Section 107 of the Copyright Act of the U. S. Constitution.
Copyright information and fair use from Stanford University Libraries.
A site for consumers with information on protecting fair-use rights.
The website of the Center for the Public Domain.
A site to help bridge the world of copyright and public domain, both domestic and international, and facilitate the availability of cultural and creative materials by using innovative licenses.
The Electronic Privacy Information Center in Washington, DC. A public research center focusing on civil liberty issues to protect privacy, 1st Amendment rights, and constitutional values.
The home page of Professor James Boyle, Duke Law School, one of the founders of the Center for the Public Domain and Creative Commons. An excellent, informative site with links to public domain and copyright issues, forums, journals, articles and papers, and other sources for the public, student and scholar.
Stanford Copyright Renewal Database.
“Copyright: It’s for the Public Good” by Peter Givler; an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education, May 9, 2003.
The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Copyright Office Sides with Publishers,” February 17, 2006.
The United States Copyright Office releases recommendations and a report on use of orphaned works.
The Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education from the American University Center for Social Media, November 2008.
This document is a code of best practices that helps educators using media literacy concepts and techniques to interpret the copyright doctrine of fair use. This guide identifies five principles that represent the media literacy education community’s current consensus about acceptable practices for the fair use of copyrighted materials, wherever and however it occurs.
IV. Legislation and Legal Issues
The 1998 Digital Millinenium Copyright Act and related articles.
The Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998 and related information.
A forum for information on opposing the Sonny Bono Extension Act.
V. Case Law
Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp.; decided 1998, upheld 1999.
Random House v. Rosetta Books; decided 2001, affirmed 2002.
New York Times v. Tassini; decided and affirmed 2001.
VI. Protagonists and Partners
The American Association of University Presses (AAUP)
The website of NINCH. Downloads available of town meetings and discussions on copyright.
Electronic Frontier Foundation
The website of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, defending digital freedom in the digital world.
Association of Research Libraries
The site of the Association of Research Libraries with information on copyright and intellectual property policies.
American Library Association
VII. Orphan Works
“Whose Work Is It, Anyway?” The Chronicle of Higher Education, July 29, 2005.
Orphan-works use by scholars, archivists, and librarians at odds with the artistic community.
IFLA/IPA Joint Press Release: “International Publishers and Librarians Agree On Access to Orphan Works,” June 2007. The full statement can be found at:
VIII. Google Book Search
“Google Library: Beyond Fair Use?” by Elisabeth Hanratty, 2005 Duke Law & Technology Review, No. 10.
Google Book Search Bibliography, by Charles W. Bailey, Jr. V. 3: December 9, 2008.
“From the University Presses—The Google Settlement: Boon, Boondoggle, or Mixed Blessing?” by Sanford G. Thatcher, Against the Grain, February 2009.
“The Google Library Project: Is Digitization for Purposes of Online Indexing Fair Use Under Copyright Law?” by Kate M. Manuel, Legislative Attorney. Congressional Research Service, February 5, 2009.
James Grimmelmann on the Google Settlement, April 2009.
“Kernochan Center Conference Scrutinizes the Google Books Settlement,” by Tamara Bock, April 2009.
“Google Books Mutilates the Printed Past,” by Ronald G. Musto, The Chronicle Review, June 2009.
Google Book Settlement, March 2011.
“Google Book Search, née Google Print” by Association of American University Presses (accessed February 2013, with updates through October 2012).