Copyright Resources

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The World Wide Web and its related technologies have opened up new avenues for creativity, distribution, revenue. As technology has opened more avenues, so too has it opened the door to greed. Copyright owners have lobbied for — and received — increasingly restrictive legislation and technologies that keeps lawful consumers from doing what copyright law allows them to do. On the other hand, many others have stolen creative works without paying fair compensation, while errantly claiming privileges under fair use and first sale doctrines.

Now, due to the debates spawned by the prominent role of digital works in American society, copyright is no longer a legal backwater. Copyright law and policy issues — often involving the high-profile entertainment industries — are routinely covered on the front pages of the nation's major newspapers. Further, the number of treatises, books, and websites that purport to give "expert" information about copyright law has exploded.

Beyond the debate lies a set of print and electronic materials that explain what copyright law is and how it works, and put the topic and its policy in their proper perspective. This research guide identifies those resources for librarians and other researchers.


  • Print Resources

    How to find primary and secondary material about copyright law and policy in the print format.
  • Organizations

    A roster of organizations and companies that influence copyright law and information policy.
  • Websites and Internet Materials

    How to find material about copyright law and policy on the World Wide Web.
  • Finding Tips

    Includes tips on how to find the best copyright materials using the call numbers and subject headings from the Library of Congress' classification system.
  • Cases, Legislation and Regulatory Materials

    Where to look for primary resources about copyright law.