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Copyright Assistance

Welcome to the George Mason University Copyright Office (CO) website. The site offers information related to the interpretation and application of copyright law in higher education, with specific focus on the Mason community. Find out more about using proprietary, Creative Commons-licensed, and public domain content for instruction, research, and assignments.

Questions may be directed to Claudia Holland, Head of the Scholarly Communication and Copyright Office, if you don’t find the information you need on or through this site, or if you just want to talk about copyright! We welcome your feedback, questions, and concerns.

The column to the far right provides links to services and offices in the University Libraries and the broader Mason community that may be useful to you, depending on your need. Links in the column to the immediate right direct you to: material in proprietary databases to which the library subscribes, content in the public domain, and content licensed by Creative Commons. Use these links to search for media you may incorporate into your instructional materials, assignments, and websites. Be sure to cite all third-party content, no matter where it comes from!

A few words about the RSS feeds on this site: The Scholarly Communication @ Duke blog, written by Kevin Smith, J.D., M.L.S., reflects Smith’s personal opinions about current copyright issues affecting higher education. IPKat is a blog that addresses a wide range of intellectual property issues, like copyright, patent, trademarks, and confidentiality. This popular blog is maintained by a cadre of solicitors and other IP experts based in the U.K., Europe, Australia, and the U.S. Finally, Dear Rich, written by attorney and author Richard Stim and other Nolo staff, offers succinct responses (not legal advice)  to questions about copyright, trademarks, and patents. Selection of this site is not intended to promote Nolo products or services; we chose it for the Q&A.

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RSS Scholarly Comm @ Duke

  • Copyright, Open Access, and Human Rights March 13, 2015
    The United Nations Human Rights Council is holding its 28th session this month, and one item on the agenda is discussion about a report from Farida Shaheed, who is a “Special Rapporteur” in the area of “cultural rights.”  Ms. Shaheed is a well-known Pakistani sociologist and human rights activist.  Her report is a remarkable document … Continue reading Copyr
    Kevin Smith, J.D.

RSS IPKat Blog

  • Polo not the same as football, but Royal Berks give Yanks a partial whipping March 29, 2015
    It's the polo season again in Luxembourg, which hosts a forum that may have seen more POLO-related litigation than anywhere else in Europe, and possibly beyond (POLO cases that have come before the European Union's top courts so far can be seen here). The latest is Case T 581/13 Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club v OHIM - Lifestyle Equities (Royal

RSS Dear Rich

  • Little Rascals/Affordable Care Fair Use Question March 18, 2015
    Dear Rich: My original music video concerning the Affordable Care Act would illustrate the song's narrative with very short clips cut from online video: The Little Rascals from the 1950s, a major league pitcher 'doctoring' a baseball, documentary footage of an ambulance. Would these uses likely be considered fair use? If the clips are very sho
    The Dear Rich Staff