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The Copyright Advisory Office at Columbia University
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Copyright at Columbia


The Copyright Advisory Office supports Columbia faculty and students in understanding copyright and how it relates to their work, course materials, and scholarly communications.  See Copyright Basics for a primer.

For Faculty


University faculty face multiple copyright related issues when engaging in academic work.  Whether carrying out research, publishing academic work or seeking to share scholarly work with, students, other colleagues or with the public, copyright, particularly, in in this digital era, has become increasingly complex.  See Faculty for more information.

For Students


As a student, your university program may have provided you with some guidance on the reproduction and distribution of existing materials. Copyright law plays a big part in how you can use, distribute and re-use materials your scholarly work.  See Students for more information.

Requests for Permission

The Copyright Advisory Office does not field individual requests for permission or reproductions of Columbia University Libraries materials.

Please reference Columbia University Libraries Digitization and Copying Services for further information and to send your request.  

Permission to use the content on this site


Except where stated otherwise, the content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 4.0 License.When making use of the content on these pages under the terms of the CC license, please include this form of attribution: "Used under a CC BY/NC license from the Copyright Advisory Office of Columbia University."  If your needs are outside the scope of this license, please consider fair use or ask us for permission.

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news From the copyright advisory office

It's Fair Use Week!

Celebrate Fair Use Week! Win an iPad Mini!

Answer three questions about fair use correctly and qualify to win an iPad Mini! 

Contest runs during Fair Use Week February 20-24, 2017 and is open to all full-time faculty, students and staff at Columbia University.  Winner will be chosen and announced by March 3, 2017.

Click here to answer your questions about fair use to qualify to win

Click here for a primer on fair use

Good luck!

Free Cookies on Tuesday!

Stop by our table in the lobby of the Butler Library and have a cookie or two.  Ask questions about copyright and fair use relating to your scholarly work. From noon to 2pm on Tuesday, February 21.

Office Hours

Office Hours are held on Tuesdays from 10am to noon.   If you have a specific issue that requires assistance that cannot wait for Office Hours, please call or send an email for an appointment.

Office Hours for Tuesday February 21 and 28, 2017 have been cancelled.  Please email or telephone for an appointment at your convenience.

Fair Use and Art Images

The Association of Art Museum Directors has posted new fair use guidelines for the use of images of in-copyright artworks online.  See Guidelines for the Use of Copyright Materials and Works of Art by Art Museums

Building Your Reading List

Faculty, are you preparing course reading lists for the spring semester? 

See Columbia University's Copyright Advisory Office Guidelines about using electronic resources to build your reading lists.

For ease of reference,  Columbia University's CourseWorks homepage now also includes similar copyright information for faculty and teaching assistants.

Copyright and Dissertations

Do you have copyright questions about your dissertation? 

Copyright Basics can answer some of the fundamental questions such as whether you should register your copyright.  The For Students tab includes materials addressing copyright issues that may arise in the course of writing your dissertation.

If you need in person help with your copyright questions, come to Office Hours or email the Copyright Advisory Office for an appointment!

Columbia University's Office of the General Counsel, and the Copyright Advisory Office have developed faculty guidelines that address copyright issues relating to MOOC production.  Read More...

DMCA Rule-Making and Exceptions

The Library of Congress has issued final rules pursuant to its rule making authorities under section 1201 of the DMCA.  They include new exceptions that allow for the reverse engineering of technical locks to access audio-visual materials in prescribed circumstances that include the development of educational materials and the production of massive open online courses (MOOCs).  Read More...

Copyright Policy Initiatives

Columbia University Libraries submits Response to the Notice Of Inquiry issued by the U.S. Copyright Office on Visual Works.  Read More...