Copyright and licensing

The resources listed below will help ILL practitioners to keep up with the copyright and licensing issues that affect their operation.


  • Access Copyright — Canada. Established as a not-for-profit organization in 1988 by a group of authors to protect the value of their intellectual property by ensuring fair compensation when their works are copied.
  • American Library Association, Copyright — US. Several sources provided by the ALA to help libraries better understand the Copyright Law and how it affects them.
  • Association of Research Libraries, Scholarly Communication — US. Overview of ARL’s research in promoting better access to information while protecting authors’ intellectual property.
  • Association of Research Libraries, Copyright and Intellectual Property Policies — US. Website providing information about updates to copyright and intellectual property law as well as a code for best practices in fair use for libraries.
  • CCH Canadian Ltd. v. Law Society of Upper Canada — 2004 Canadian Supreme Court Judgment with major implications for interlibrary loan in Canada.
  • CDL License Agreement Checklist — California Digital Library, US. CDL uses emerging technology to create new ways to access digital information and distribute it to the community at large.
  • Center for the Study of the Public Domain — Duke University, United States. CSPD at Duke Law School promotes  discussion, research, and scholarship on issues related to the public domain.
  • CONTU Guidelines — US. Final report of the National Commission on New Technology Uses of Copyrighted Works.
  • Copyright Advisory Network — American Library Association, US. Information about copyright law for librarians, including feedback from specialists and fellow librarians.
  • Copyright & Fair Use — Stanford University Libraries, US. Addresses the copyright and fair use issues applicable to education and libraries. Includes tools to aid users in evaluating copyright status.
  • Copyright Clearance Center — Copyright Clearance Center (CCC) serves as a global rights broker for sought-after materials and protector of author and user rights.
  • Copyright Crash Course — Georgia Harper/University of Texas, US. A tutorial that teaches about ownership of copyrighted material, how to use it properly, and how to obtain permission to use someone else’s work.  Includes sections on fair use and Section 108 in the library.
  • Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States, 1 January 2015 — Peter Hirtle, Cornell Copyright Information Center, US. A table showing what is currently unprotected by copyright law or in the public domain.
  • Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States — The Cornell Copyright Information Center maintains this document which shows when works are in the public domain.
  • Creative Commons — An organization that allows users to modify their copyright terms according to the user’s conditions.
  • Fair Use Checklist — Columbia University Libraries, US. Offers guidance in deciding if a particular use of copyrighted materials can be considered Fair Use according to Copyright Law.
  • Language Suggested for the Notices Required by the Copyright Revision Act of 1976 — ALA RUSA STARS, Interlibrary Loan Committee, US. Examples of how to notify patrons that they are using materials that are copyright protected.
  • LibLicense: A Resource for Librarians — Center for Research Libraries, US. LibLicense discusses licensing and other related issues. They also provide valuable resources about scholarly licensing for libraries.
  • Library Copyright Alliance — US. LCA sees to amend international/national copyright law for digital resources while still allowing global access.
  • Open Access Sources — ShareILL.org internal page. Coming soon.
  • ONIX-PL Working Group (previously the License Expression Working Group) — a joint project of NISO and EDItEUR that supports the development of the ONIX-PL standard.
  • Section 108 Due Diligence Project — database of VHS titles eligible for duplication under Section 108.
  • Section 108 Study Group — Library of Congress, US. Copyright experts who update copyright law for digital resources. They aim to balance the rights between creators and copyright owners.
  • SERU (Shared Electronic Resource Understanding) — A best practice from National Information Standards Organization (NISO) on standard business practices for sharing e-resources.
  • United States Copyright Office — The US Copyright Office allows users to register their works online through their website. The website also has application forms for copyright registration, links to other copyright organizations, links to their own copyright records, the latest regulations, etc.
  • When Works Pass Into the Public Domain — Lolly Gassaway, University of North Carolina, US. Website shows breakdown of when works are no longer protected and get put into the public domain according to when copyright laws were created.
  • World Intellectual Property Organization — WIPO works on the development of international standards in copyright law. WIPO’s website also outlines the right of stakeholders and their relations with the public.