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Map & Atlas Collections: Copyright Statement

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Copyright Statement

Warning concerning copyright restrictions

The Northwestern University Library respects the intellectual property rights of others. The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish reproductions of copyrighted material. One of these specified conditions is that the reproduction is not to be used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research. Requests for services are evaluated on this basis, and additional information about the use may be requested in order to determine whether one of the exemptions (typically those described in sections 107 or 108 of the copyright law) will authorize fulfilling it.

Copyright & Fair Use

Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States 2017

Colombia University Libraries Copyright Quick Guide

Fair Use Checklist To determine whether you are within fair use, the law calls for a balanced application of four factors. These four factors come directly from the fair use provision, Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act and they have been examined and developed in judicial decisions.  Factor 1: The Purpose and Character of the Use; Factor 2: The Nature of the Copyrighted Work; Factor 3: The Amount or Substantiality of the Portion Used; Factor 4: The Effect of the Use on the Potential Market for or Value of the Work


Copyright Questions?

Up until 1998, renewed copyrights ran an additional 47 years (hence, 75 years total), rounded up to the end of the calendar year. A copyright extension bill signed that year extended copyrights still in force for an additional 20 years. However, since copyrights from 1922 had already expired, anything copyrighted before 1923 is now in the public domain in the United States, even if its copyright was renewed. Copyrights from 1923 to 1963, if not renewed, and not made exempt from the renewal requirement (see above) have also expired.

Did an item have its copyright renewed? Here's how to find out:

According to The Online Books Page 

  1. “In the US, books published before 1964 had to get their copyrights renewed at the Library of Congress Copyright Office in their 28th year, or they'd fall into the public domain.”
  2. “Up until 1998, renewed copyrights ran an additional 47 years (hence, 75 years total), rounded up to the end of the calendar year.”

So add 28 years to the original copyright year and use this handy look-up tool is able to look for a renewal.