Additional Resources

More information about copyright concepts

  • Liability and remedies
    • Generally, to establish a claim of copyright infringement, a creator or holder of copyright need only show that she has a valid copyright in the work and that the defendant copied protected expression from the work. However, the intention of the alleged infringer may be relevant in some cases, such as if the defendant asserts that an exception or limitation applied to their use or that their work was independently created.
    • The copyright laws of some countries grant copyright holders statutory remedies for infringement. The type and amounts of remedies including damages are established by law. Be aware of the existence of statutory damages and other remedies permitted by applicable law, including statutory provisions that award legal fees in some circumstances.
  • Licensing and transfer
    • Many creators and copyright holders need help to fully exercise the exclusive rights or simply give others permission to exercise the right granted by copyright law. Several options exist to do so. Some creators choose to license some or all of those rights, either exclusively or non exclusively. Others choose to sell their rights outright and allow others to exercise them in their place, sometimes in exchange for royalty payments. There are often formalities associated with the sale or licensing of copyrights, including when a copyright license must be in writing depending on the copyright law that applies.
  • Termination of copyright transfers and licenses
    • The laws of some countries grant copyright holders the right to terminate transfer agreements or licenses even if the transfer agreement or license doesn’t allow it. In the United States, for example, copyright law provides two mechanisms for doing so depending on when the transfer agreement or license became effective. For more information on these rights and a tool that allows creators and copyright holders to figure out if they have those rights, visit

More information about limitations and exceptions to copyright

More information about the public domain

  • Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States by Cornell University Library Copyright Information Center Copyright information on when resources fall into the public domain depending on the circumstances under which they were written
  • Out of Copyright: Determining the Copyright Status of Works
    A website to help determine the copyright status of a work and whether it has fallen into the public domain