Copyright Tools

Scholarship & Research Materials

Copyright Tools

  • Copyright Genie - this tool from the American Libraries Association can help determine if a work is covered by copyright and, if it is, when it will enter the public domain.

  • Stanford University Copyright Renewal Database – A searchable database of copyright renewal records for books published in the U.S. between 1923 and 1963. This database only covers books, not other copyrightable materials. For those, see the Catalog of Copyright Entries.

  • Catalog of Copyright Entries - through Internet Archive or Google Books – scans of volumes of the Catalog of Copyright Entries published by the Registrar of Copyright. These scans cover all copyright entries, not just books, but aren’t easily searchable. While copyright renewal had to take place in the 28th year, anecdotal evidence suggests entries were not always published promptly. If a renewal isn’t found in the 28th year, check the 27th and 29th as well.

  • Fair Use Checklist - This checklist uses case law to help work through whether or not an intended use is a fair use.

  • Fair Use Evaluator- Like the checklist, however this also provides the opportunity to describe the use and provide context.

  • Codes of Best Practices in Fair Use - These codes have been put forth by a number of disciplines, created by working with representatives of those disciplines to create scenarios to explain what is considered to be fair use by those within the discipline.

  • Creative Commons - Creative Commons licenses are a way for copyright holders to declare up front what kind of use they do and don’t allow with their works.


Learn more - Check out the Copyright FAQs