Copyright Law for Librarians and Educators: Creative Strategies and Practical Solutions, Fourth Edition

ALA Member
Item Number
ALA Editions
8 12"
AP Categories

Primary tabs

You don't need to be an ALA Member to purchase from the ALA Store, but you'll be asked to create an online account/profile during the checkout to proceed. This Web Account is for both Members and non-Members. 

If you are Tax-Exempt, please verify that your account is currently set up as exempt before placing your order, as our new fulfillment center will need current documentation. Learn how to verify here.

  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the author
  • Reviews

Watch an archived webinar by the author now!

Copyright law never sleeps, making it imperative to keep abreast of the latest developments. Declared “an exemplary text that seals the standards for such books” (Managing Information), this newly revised and updated edition by respected copyright authority Crews offers timely insights and succinct guidance for LIS students, librarians, and educators alike. Readers will

  • learn basic copyright definitions and key exceptions for education and library services;
  • find information quickly with “key points” sidebars, legislative citations, and cross-references;
  • get up to speed on fresh developments, such as how the recently signed Marrakesh Treaty expands access for people with disabilities and why the latest ruling in the Georgia State University case makes developing a fair use policy so important;
  • understand the concept of fair use, with fresh interpretations of its many gray areas that will aid decision making;
  • learn the current state of affairs regarding mass digitization, Creative Commons, classroom use and distance education, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and other important topics;
  • receive guidance on setting up on a copyright service at a library, college, or university; and
  • find many helpful checklists for navigating copyright in various situations.

This straightforward, easy-to-use guide provides the tools librarians and educators need to take control of their rights and responsibilities as copyright owners and users.

Introduction: This Book and the Importance of Copyright

Part I: The Reach of Copyright
Chapter 1: The Copyright Map: Changing Needs and Copyright Solutions
Chapter 2: Sources of Copyright Law: Constitution, Statutes, and Courts
Chapter 3: Sources of Copyright Law: International Treaties, Trade, and Harmonization
Chapter 4: The Scope of Protectable Works
Chapter 5: Works without Copyright Protection

Part II: Rights of Ownership
Chapter 6: Duration and Formalities: How Long Do Copyrights Last?
Chapter 7: Who Owns the Copyright?
Chapter 8: The Rights of Copyright Owners
Chapter 9: Exceptions to the Rights of Owners

Part III: Fair Use
Chapter 10: Fair Use: Getting Started
Chapter 11: Fair Use: Understanding the Four Factors
Chapter 12: Getting Comfortable with Fair Use: Applying the Four Factors
Chapter 13: The Meaning of Fair Use Guidelines
Chapter 14: Education, Fair Use, and the Georgia State Case

Part IV: Focus on Education and Libraries
Chapter 15: Distance Education and the Principles of Copyright
Chapter 16: Distance Education and the TEACH Act
Chapter 17: Libraries, Archives, and the Special Provisions of Section 108
Chapter 18: Responsibility, Liability, and Doing the Right Thing

Part V: Special Features
Chapter 19: Music and Copyright
Chapter 20: The Peculiar Law of Pre-1972 Sound Recordings
Chapter 21: Copyright, Archives, and Unpublished Materials
Chapter 22: Anticircumvention and Digital Rights Management
Chapter 23: Copyright and the World: Foreign Law and Foreign Works
Chapter 24: Permission, Licensing, and Open Access


  • Appendix A    Selected Provisions from the U.S. Copyright Act
  • Appendix B    Copyright Checklist: Fair Use
  • Appendix C     Copyright Checklist: The TEACH Act and Distance Education
  • Appendix D    Copyright Checklist for Libraries: Copies for Preservation or Replacement
  • Appendix E    Copyright Checklist for Libraries: Copies for Private Study
  • Appendix F    Model Letter for Permission Requests

About the Author

Kenneth D. Crews

Kenneth D. Crews is an attorney, author, professor, and international copyright consultant.  Much of his work has centered on copyright issues of importance to libraries, education, research, and publishing.  Dr. Crews has been a professor of law, business, and library science, and he established the nation’s first university-based copyright office, at Indiana University, where he also held a tenured law professorship.  Crews was later recruited to create a similar office at Columbia University in New York City and to serve on the faculty of Columbia Law School.  He studied history at Northwestern University and law at Washington University in St. Louis.  Dr. Crews earned M.L.S. and Ph.D. degrees from UCLA’s School of Library and Information Science.  He resides in Los Angeles, California, and has been an invited speaker on college and university campuses and at conferences in nearly every U.S. state and on six continents.  He was the first recipient of the L. Ray Patterson Copyright Award from the American Library Association and received the Mark T. Banner Award from the American Bar Association.

"This fourth edition covers the newest developments regarding mass digitization, Creative Commons, classroom use and distance learning, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and access for people with disabilities ... Moreover, Crews's devoting two chapters to how copyright law and the TEACH Act can be applied to distance learning is particularly timely and useful."
—Licia Slimon, MLS, University of Pittsburgh (Duquesne University)

"[An] excellent primer ... Functioning as both a straightforward, cover-to-cover read and a handy reference work."
—Online Searcher

"In this newly updated fourth edition ... Dr. Crews continues to offer readers a very readable and accessible roadmap for navigating copyright issues ... The convenient arrangement of the book makes it equally useful for reading or as a quick reference source."
— Journal of Hospital Librarianship

Praise for the third edition

"Straightforward ... a terrific way to teach library students a lot in an easy to read book."
—Lesley Ellen Harris, author, educator, consultant,

"An excellent resource for librarians. It provides legal guidance, but it doesn't require legal expertise to understand."
—Information Today

"The style and approach throughout is sensible, helpful, interesting, authoritative and approachable and some lively photos, scenarios and real case examples support the book. In short, this is an exemplary text that seals the standards for such books."
—Managing Information