Copyright research workflow

As noted in my last post on copyright, I have been researching ways to determine the copyright status of each title in our collection. Using these resources, I created this workflow for our new student worker, Aneesah, to use when investigating the copyright of a given newspaper.

NELA Newspapers: steps for determining copyright status

For publications from 1923-1977:

  1. Look carefully for a copyright notice on the material. Look at several copies of the entire newspaper at several regular intervals.

  1. If there is no copyright notice, it is in the public domain.

  1. If there is a copyright notice on publications from 1964-1977, they are NOT in the public domain. Copyright status is 95 years after the publication date. Note the date on which copyright will expire.

  1. If there is a copyright notice on publications from 1923-1963, you need to find out if copyright was renewed:

    1. Search the Catalog of Copyright Entries on the Online Books Page (UPENN). If you don’t find the title, it wasn’t renewed, it is in the public domain.

    2. If you do find the title, the copyright was renewed, and is NOT in the public domain. Copyright status is 95 years after the publication date. Note the date on which copyright will expire.

For publications from 1978-March 1, 1989:

  1. Look carefully for a copyright notice on the material.

  1. If there is no notice, find out if copyright was registered. Search the Catalog of Copyright Entries on the Online Books Page (UPENN).

    1. If it was not registered within 5 years of publication, it is in the public domain.

    2. If it was registered within 5 years of publication, it is NOT in the public domain. Copyright status is 95 years after the publication date. Note the date on which copyright will expire.

  1. If there is a notice, it is NOT in the public domain. Copyright status is 95 years after the publication date. Note the date on which copyright will expire.

For publications from March 1, 1989-present:

  1. All content is covered by copyright for 95 years after the publication date. Note the date on which copyright will expire.

[This workflow was created using Peter B. Hirtle’s Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States (Cornell Copyright Information Center), and Judy G. Russell’s Copyright & the Newspaper Article  (The Legal Genealogist).]

 

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One thought on “Copyright research workflow

  1. Pingback: Researching Northeast Newspapers corporate history | NELA Newspapers Pilot Project

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