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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

  • Are fair use and open access incompatible? September 25, 2014
    There has been a spirited discussion on a list to which I subscribe about the plight of this graduate student who is trying to publish an article that critiques a previously published work.  I’ll go into details below, but I want to start by noting that during that discussion, my colleague Laura Quilter from [...] The post Are fair use and open access incomp
    Kevin Smith, J.D.

RSS IPKat Blog

  • The IPKat and his friends: time for an update September 30, 2014
    Every three months, the IPKat and Merpel give an update of the goings-on both on this weblog and on other IP-flavoured blogs to which members of this blog team also contribute.  This time round, the Kats welcome a large contingent of newly-enrolled postgraduate and undergraduate students of intellectual property law, as well as trainee attorneys and solicito

RSS Dear Rich

  • Can We Use Illustration for Cover of Book? September 30, 2014
    Dear Rich: I run a non-profit educational website called Simply Charly that explores history's greatest movers and shakers. And we're planning to publish a series of books using many of the illustrations we own on the covers of the books. I was wondering if we'll run into some copyright issues using our own illustrations. You need to look at t
    The Dear Rich Staff