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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

  • GSU appeal ruling — the more I read, the better it seems October 19, 2014
    Those of us who heard the oral arguments in the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals last November, in which the publishers appeal of the District Court ruling favoring fair use in their copyright infringement lawsuit against Georgia State was heard, mostly expected a discouraging result from the Appellate panel. An initial or cursory reading [...] The post GSU
    Kevin Smith, J.D.

RSS IPKat Blog

  • Obviousness, common general knowledge and expectations of success: Leo gets a mauling October 21, 2014
    Obviousness and common general knowledge are features of patent law that are of very limited application, if any at all, in most other areas of intellectual property.  For this reason it all too often happens that Katposts on these issues are skipped by readers who consider patent law too hard, abstruse or arcane to deserve their attention.  The decision of

RSS Dear Rich

  • Can I Embed YouTube Video at For-Profit Site? October 20, 2014
    Judge PosnerSeventh CircuitDear Rich: Is it safe to embed YouTube videos in courses that are developed for-profit? The YouTube terms and service page indicates that the embed code they offer is designed to make sharing/embedding possible regardless of use. We noticed that your email was from Canada so we must caveat our answer by stating that our answer is b
    The Dear Rich Staff