Copyright Law

10 Part 2 – Additional Resources

More information about copyright concepts

Liability and remedies

Generally, to establish a claim of copyright infringement, a creator or holder of copyright need only show that she has a valid copyright in the work and that the defendant copied protected expression from the work. However, the intention of the alleged infringer may be relevant in some cases, such as if the defendant asserts that an exception or limitation applied to their use or that their work was independently created.

The copyright laws of some countries grant copyright holders statutory remedies for infringement. The type and amounts of remedies including damages are established by law. Be aware of the existence of statutory damages and other remedies permitted by applicable law, including statutory provisions that award legal fees in some circumstances.

Licensing and transfer

Many creators and copyright holders need help to fully exercise the exclusive rights or simply give others permission to exercise the right granted by copyright law. Several options exist to do so. Some creators choose to license some or all of those rights, either exclusively or non exclusively. Others choose to sell their rights outright and allow others to exercise them in their place, sometimes in exchange for royalty payments. There are often formalities associated with the sale or licensing of copyrights, including when a copyright license must be in writing depending on the copyright law that applies.

Termination of copyright transfers and licenses

The laws of some countries grant copyright holders the right to terminate transfer agreements or licenses even if the transfer agreement or license doesn’t allow it. In the United States, for example, copyright law provides two mechanisms for doing so depending on when the transfer agreement or license became effective. For more information on these rights and a tool that allows creators and copyright holders to figure out if they have those rights, visit


CopyrightX by Harvard Law School.

United States Copyright Office Circular #1, “Copyright Basics.”

Copyright for Educators & Librarians by Coursera

More information about limitations and exceptions to copyright

Fair Use Evaluator:

            An online tool to help users understand how to determine the “fairness” of use under the U.S. Copyright Code, and work with materials under fair use.

Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property by American University Washington College of Law. CC BY 3.0

Publications on Fair Use to understand underlying principles and best practices

Copyright and Exceptions by Kennisland. Marked with CC0 1.0 Public Domain Designation

Interactive map of European copyright exceptions

A Fair(y) Use Tale by Eric Faden. CC BY-NC-SA 3.0

A creative educational fair use mashup which ironically makes use of clips from Disney

films as it explains how copyright works. The discussion of fair use begins around the 6 minute 30 second mark in the video.

More information about the public domain

Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States by Cornell University Library Copyright Information Center
Copyright information on when resources fall into the public domain depending on the circumstances under which they were written

Out of Copyright: Determining the Copyright Status of Works A website to help determine the copyright status of a work and whether it has fallen into the public domain

The Public Domain Manifesto by Communia. GNU General Public License
A website with information about the public domain, the values of some of its supporters, And some recommendations on how to use the public domain

Center for the Study of Public Domain by Duke Law School Information and events regarding the Public Domain

Bound by Law by Keith Aoki, James Boyle, and Jennifer Jenkins. CC BY-NC-SA 2.5
A comic about public domain

Public Domain Review An online journal and not-for-profit project dedicated to the exploration of curious and compelling works from the history of art, literature, and ideas.

It’s Time to Protect the Public Domain by Wikimedia Foundation. CC BY 3.0

Article providing information on some of the important details of of public domain, it’s legal backing, and the public interest.


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Creative Commons by JR Dingwall is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book