Is it Under Copyright? Check Here

by Lee Gesmer on July 24, 2008

Whether a U.S. work is protected by U.S. copyright is often a difficult question to answer. It can depend on factors such date of first publication, whether the work was published with a copyright notice, whether the copyright was renewed, whether the author is living or dead and, if dead, when the author died. Technology to the rescue!, sort of ….

Click on the graphic below to go to the American Library Association “Copyright Advisory Network” website where you can use the “digital slide rule” created by Michael Brewer (ALA member from the University of Arizona Library) to find the answer. Drag the red arrow up and down beside the various data points and see what the boxes to the left say (yes, no, maybe). Of course, “maybe” is the answer far too often, requiring the user to click the asterisk, read the explanation, do more research and …. oh well.

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