Understanding copyright is a difficult task. The laws can seem straight forward at first but can become quite murky on a case by case basis. Remember any time you’re reading about copyright to take into consideration where the information is coming from- the American Library Association and the Recording Industry Association of America might interpret the law very differently. The best thing you can do is read a range of articles and make the most informed decision possible.

Overviews of copyright law

Stanford University: Copyright and Fair Use

A site that explains the nuances of copyright and fair use in language the lay person can understand. Explains concepts like public domain, fair use, and permissions.

Cornell University: Copyright Video Tutorials

In case all the lengthy legal documents are getting you down, Cornell has made available several video tutorials to educate the public on the facets of copyright.

Aviva: Copyright laws for bloggers

A quick and dirty guide to abiding by copyright on your blogs and websites.

Intellectual Freedom

American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom

The ALA is one of intellectual freedom’s long-standing advocates. Go here to find a wide range of resources relating to intellectual freedom. Especially useful is the Intellectual Freedom Manual produced by the office.

Creative Commons

Organization founded to create an alternative to the rigid and poorly defined copyright laws. You can license your work with one of several different types of copyrights. You can also come here to find work created and shared by others for the purpose of remixing.

College Art Association: Freedom of Expression and Censorship

A blog maintained by the College Art Association with posts on the subject of intellectual freedom. Generally centers around advocacy issues and the CAA’s involvement in writing briefs for court cases.

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