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Lecture 14

HIS 395 Lecture 14: Copyright Law

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Illinois State University
HIS 395
April Anderson

What is Copyright? • Copyright is an important part of archives management. o Must be aware of copyright issues you have in your repository. ▪ Do you have materials from which you do not own the copyright? ▪ How will you address these collections in the event of a publication request? o How do you handle the copyright questions when a collection is donated? • Terms to remember. o Intellectual property. ▪ If you write something, create a work, it’s your intellectual property. ▪ What you apply to copyright is your intellectual property. o Copyright. o Public domain. ▪ If something is no longer under copyright protection, it’s considered to be in the public domain. o Fair use. o Orphan works. ▪ Because there is no database of copyright holders, for works we don’t know the copyright status of, and with investigation we can’t confirm, they fall into this category. • Used to not be complicated; was incorporated into the U.S. Constitution. o Article I, Section 8, Clause 8: “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.” • You can’t copyright something in perpetuity; the first range was for fourteen years with an option to renew if the author was still alive. o Time on copyright has evolved and gotten longer over the years. o Currently copyright term limits are: ▪ Individual – life of author plus 70 years after the death of the author. • Must have been registered before 1978 and had to be renewed. ▪ Corporations – 120 years after creation or 95 years after publication. • All works published in the US before 1923 are public domain. o For works published prior to 1978, they had to be renewed in their 28 year to get extended terms. • Discussion ensued about whether or not state should administer copyright; they did for a time but this eventually went back to federal control. • Digital Materials Copyright Act (DMCA), 1998. What is currently in the Public Domain? • All works published in the US before 1923. • All works published with a copyright notice from 1923 to 1963 without copyright renewal. • All works published without a copyright at all from 1923 to 1977. • All works published without a copyright notice from 1978 to March 1, 1
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