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COPYRIGHT LAW & DIGITAL ARCHIVES. Lolly Gasaway June, 2000. U.S. Constitution, Article I, § 8, clause 8.

I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.
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Lolly Gasaway

June, 2000

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U.S. Constitution, Article I, § 8, clause 8

“The Congress shall have Power...To promote the Progress of Science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.”

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  • Originality & creativity - § 102(a)

  • Fixation - § 102(a)

  • Published vs.

    unpublished works

  • Registration

  • Deposit

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§ 401 (b)


2. Year of first publication

3. Name of copyright holder

© 2000


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1909 28 years

+28 years

56 years

1976 Act Section 202 life

Personal Author +50 years


1998 Amendment life

+ 70 years


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  • Signed 10-27-99

  • Basically extended term of copyright by 20 years - to life + 70

  • Complies with law of

    European Union

  • Constitutional

    challenge underway

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Corporate Authors 95 years after date 1st publication or 120 years after creation, whichever comes first.

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WHEN WORKS PASS INTO THE PUBLIC DOMAIN years after creation, whichever comes first.


Created 1-1-78 When work is fixed in Life + 70 years (or, if

or after tangible medium of work of corporate

expression authorship, 95 years from publication, or 120 years from creation, whichever is first.


Revised to reflect 1998 Amendments

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Published before Now in public domain None years after creation, whichever comes first.


Published 1923-63 When published with 28 years + could

notice be renewed for 47

so renewed, now in public domain

Published 1964-77 When published with 28 years for first notice term; now automatic extension of 67 years for second term

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Created before 1-1-78, the effective Life + 70 years or years after creation, whichever comes first.

1-1-78, but not of the 1976 Act 12- 31-2002,which-

published which eliminated ever is greater

common law


Created before 1-1-78, the effective Life + 70 years or

1-1-78 but date of the Act which 12-31-2047,

published between eliminated common whichever is

then and law copyright. greater


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PROTECTABLE WORKS years after creation, whichever comes first.

§ 102(a)

1. Literary works

2. Musical works

3. Dramatic works

4. Pantomimes & choreographic works

5. Pictorial, graphic & sculptural works

6. Motion picture & other audiovisual works

7. Sound recordings

8. Architectural works

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PUBLIC DOMAIN years after creation, whichever comes first.

1. Materials on which the copyright has expired.

2. Materials in which the author never claimed copyright, i.e., “dedicated

to the public.”

3. Materials produced by the federal government (§ 105)

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RIGHTS OF THE COPYRIGHT HOLDER years after creation, whichever comes first.

§ 106

  • Reproduction

  • Distribution

  • Adaptation

  • Performance

  • Display

  • Digital transmission of sound recordings

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FAIR USE years after creation, whichever comes first.

§ 107

…“the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies … for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright.”

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FAIR USE FACTORS years after creation, whichever comes first.

§ 107

  • Purpose and character of the use

  • Nature of the copyrighted work

  • Amount & substantiality used

  • Market effect

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PHOTOGRAPHS years after creation, whichever comes first.

  • Who owns the copyright?

    • Generally photographer

    • Snapshots

    • Newspaper photos – depends, staff photographer or freelancer?

  • Who owns image on the photo?

  • How long does the copyright last?

  • What if it is unpublished?

  • What if it is a public domain photo?

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  • How to obtain permission to use it years after creation, whichever comes first.

    • Locate photographer/copyright holder or heirs - ask

    • Archival collections may hold only copy but not copyright

      • Difference in owning photo & owning copyright

  • What does putting it on the web mean?

    • General publication

    • Restricting access may change the equation

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WHAT DOES THE INTERNET DO TO years after creation, whichever comes first.© ?

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  • Nothing! years after creation, whichever comes first.

  • Nothing changes the underlying copyright concepts

  • New method to infringe (copy) copyrighted works

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  • Result = mass reproduction years after creation, whichever comes first.

  • A copy is made when the work is scanned, input or copied to send

  • Arguably, copy is made by every person who even reads or views the work on the screen

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INTERNET PARTICULARS years after creation, whichever comes first.

  • Copyright still belongs to authors / publishers

  • No notice requirement

  • Listserv submissions copyrighted (if original)

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WORLD WIDE WEB is there by permission

  • Yes,home pages are copyrighted

    • No notice requirement, but is a good idea

    • Use of original works is no problem!

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Original work =no is there by permissionproblem

Does inclusion of ©’d works require permission?


Photographs,graphics, etc.

Motion media


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LINKING = CROSS REFERENCE is there by permission

  • No problem = equivalent to cross references

    • Unless site is infringing

    • “Clean links”

  • Framing = problem

  • Logos = big problem; use url

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What do you own? is there by permission

Public domain photos digitized ?

No, underlying work is what’s copyrighted

Public domain = public domain

The compilation

Include a copyright notice

Detail any restrictions with that notice

e.g., no commercial use

Indicate if permission was received

Restrict access

Your choice

Public funding or other mission may dictate


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ASSESSING THE RISK is there by permission

  • Age of photo

  • How much has been done to identify owner

  • Commercial vs. nonprofit status

  • Chance anyone will complain

  • Worst case scenario