Humanities E-Book
The Online Collection
Developed By Scholars

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.

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 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, JSTOR, and ARTSTOR

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: