Unless Otherwise Indicated: A Survey of Copyright Statements on Digital Library Collections

Melanie Schlosser


This study examines the copyright statements attached to digital collections created by members of the Digital Library Federation. A total of 786 collections at twenty-nine institutions were examined for the presence of statements and their content evaluated for common themes. Particular attention was paid to whether the institutions in question are meeting their obligation to educate users about their rights by including information about fair use and the public domain. Approximately half the collections surveyed had copyright statements, and those statements were often difficult to distinguish from terms of use and were frequently vague or misleading.

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