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- American Library Association -

“Libraries are leaders in trying to maintain a balance of power between copyright holders and users...”

Copyright Resources

This page provides Canadian, American, and international resources regarding copyright, as well as resources for teaching students about copyright issues. 

Extended quotation:

"The Digital Age presents new challenges to fundamental copyright doctrines that are legal cornerstones of library services. Libraries are leaders in trying to maintain a balance of power between copyright holders and users, in keeping with the fundamental principles outlined in the Constitution and carefully crafted over the past 200 years. ... Copyright issues are among the most hotly contested issues in the legal and legislative world; billions of dollars are at stake. Legal principles and technological capabilities are constantly challenging each other and every outcome can directly affect the future of libraries" (ALA, 2019, para. 1-2).


American Library Association. (2019, March 21). Copyright for libraries: General information. Retrieved from

Copyright Resources - Canada

Canadian Intellectual Property Office: Copyright [website], Government of Canada.


Canadian Intellectual Property Office: A Guide to Copyright [website], Government of Canada.

Copyright Act [legislation], Government of Canada (1985).

Copyright [website, resources], Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL/ABRC).

Copyright [resources], Canadian Federation of Library Associations (CFLA/FCAB).

Copyright Information [resources], Canadian Library Association (CLA).

Selected copyright guides from Canadian universities:

University of Alberta:

Ryerson University:

Carleton University:

Concordia University:

McGill University:

Copyright Resources - United States of America

Why Librarians Care about Intellectual Property Law and Policy [article], American Library Association (March 10, 2019). 

Copyright for Libraries [LibGuide], American Library Association. "A resource to help librarians understand copyright issues like fair use, first sale doctrine, when and how to show movies/videos, and the TEACH Act."


District Dispatch [blog], American Library Association (November, 2018 and earlier). "[N]ews about copyright as it concerns libraries."


American Libraries [magazine, blog], American Library Association. The latest in American library news


Copyright Advisory Network [website, resources, forum], American Library Association Office for Information Technology Policy.

The Copyright Genie


"OK, so the Copyright Genie can't grant copyright wishes, but it can take the magic out of copyright by:

  • Helping you find out if a work is covered by U.S. copyright

  • Calculating its terms of protection, and

  • Collecting and publishing the results (as a PDF) to save for your records or further vet with a copyright specialist."

Fair Use Evaluator

"This tool is designed to help you better understand how to determine the "fairness" of a use under the U.S. Copyright Code. The tool will help you collect, organize & archive the information you might need to support a fair use evaluation by providing you with a time-stamped, PDF document for your records, which could prove valuable, should you ever be asked by a copyright holder to provide your fair use evaluation and the data you used to support it."

Section 108 Spinner


"Section 108 of the U.S. Copyright Code allows libraries and archives, under certain circumstances, to make reproductions of copyrighted materials without the permission of the copyright holder. This simple tool can

  1. help you determine if your reproduction is covered by Section 108 and

  2. collect information to support your use of the exception."

Exceptions for Instructors eTool


"The U.S. Copyright Code provides for the educational use of copyrighted material without the permission of the copyright holder under certain conditions. Use this free online tool to find out if your intended use meets the requirements set out in the law. This tool can also help you collect information detailing your educational use and provide you with a summary in PDF format."

Copyright Resources - International

About IP: Copyright [website], World Intellectual Property Organization.

For Students
Copyright Resources - Teaching Resources For Students

The Four Factors of Fair Use: What rights to fair use do you have as a creator? [Grade 7 lesson plan], Common Sense Education.

Copyright and Fair Use Animation, 

Common Sense Education

"Students are introduced to copyright, fair use, and the rights they have as creators. Use this video in your classroom in conjunction with the lesson plan, Copyrights and Wrongs:

For video discussion questions Grades 6-8, visit:

For video discussion questions Grades 9-12, visit:"

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