Copyright Qs & As: Copyright Management and Copyright Compliance

16.0 Question: What is a copyright policy?

Answer: A Copyright Policy is a written document that sets out copyright information, specifically how it applies to the use of content in your organization. It may set out basic copyright information, global copyright information, questions and answers in your organization, how to apply fair dealing/use in your organization, and the contact person for copyright in your organization. The Policy is also a great document/text for teaching copyright in your organization. (2009-1)

16.1 Question: What are some steps we can take to ensure copyright compliance in our enterprise?

Answer: Some recommendations include instituting an enterprise-wide written copyright policy (see 16.0 above); providing on-going education about copyright and licensing issues; undertaking periodic audits on computer software licenses, and posting copyright warnings/notices near photocopiers, computers and printers. (2009-3)

16.2 Question: Are all U.S. government works protected by copyright?

Answer: U.S. government works are not protected by copyright. This means that a work created by a U.S. government employee for purposes of work does not have copyright protection. However, the U.S. government may own copyright-protected works. For example, the U.S. could own a protected work by purchasing an assignment from a copyright owner. (2009-3)

16.3 Question: Can you point me to examples of copyright warnings/notices posted near photocopiers?

Answer: Both the U.S. and Canadian copyright statutes provide sample wording for libraries to include in copyright warnings/notices near photocopiers. Similar wording can be used by all organizations, and similar wording could be used near all technology where copyright-protected works may be reproduced. (2009-4)


  1. Lesley says:

    Hi Erica, there is no specific body that audits for copyright infringement. But for example if an ex-employee goes to a trade association and informs them that your library is infringing copyright, that trade association may contact you and request to undertake an audit as part of their investigation.

  2. Erica says:

    Our corporate library is working on establishing a copyright policy. One question that came up repeatly in our meetings was how copyright holders would know if a company is sharing copyrighted material internally. Is there actually way in which this could be monitored? Also, Is there a policing body that audits companies for copyright infringements?

  3. Lesley says:

    Hi Jacob, neither using the symbol or registering is required in the US (both requirements were eliminated and are now voluntary.) You can use the symbol without registering.

  4. Jacob says:


    In the US, can I use a copyright symbol without registering?

    I plan to give a public presentation with my architectural drawing and want to include some notice that others can’t use it. Would a copyright be the right symbol?

    Thanks so much!

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