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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

  • Here we go again: latest GSU ruling an odd victory for libraries April 1, 2016
    My first thought when I read the new ruling in the Georgia State copyright lawsuit brought by publishers over e-reserves was of one of those informal rules that all law students learn — don’t tick off your judge.  From the first days of the original trial, the arrogant antics of the attorneys representing the publisher plaintiffs — […]
    Kevin Smith, J.D.

RSS IPKat Blog

  • Freedom of panorama in France: could even a visit to Père Lachaise become a problem? April 30, 2016
    Adjusting the camera not to include any copyright materialGame of Thrones? House of Cards? Forget them.The battle around what until recently was an area of copyright not many cared knew about, ie freedom of panorama, has now become one of the most eventful sagas ever.The relevant provision in this sense is Article 5(3)(h) of the InfoSoc […]

RSS Dear Rich

  • Why Can't I Post Erotic Fiction About a Real Celebrity? April 28, 2016
    Dear Rich: I wrote a short satirical erotica series about a C-List public figure. She already knows as she mentioned me in an online magazine article. One digital publishing platform removed these works because "publishing erotica regarding living people can result in both you and [the publisher] being sued by the person in question." I […]
    The Dear Rich Staff