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 U.S. Newspapers and Copyright CDNC logo CDNC logo

If you plan to digitize a US newspaper published after 1922, you need to understand copyright law.  Any newspaper issue published before 1923 is out of copyright and can be freely reproduced.  Newspapers published after 1922 are potentially copyrighted and can only be digitized if their copyright was not renewed or a copyright notice was not provided in the paper.  The CDNC has focused on pre-1923 newspapers mainly because they are clearly out of copyright, but we are willing to digitize and host post-1922 issues so long as they are clearly not copyrighted.

There is much information on the web about newspapers and copyright, so instead of summarizing it again, we are providing links to resources we think are especially useful.

Understanding Newspapers and Copyright

The Legal Genealogist Blog has a good overview: http://www.legalgenealogist.com/blog/2012/03/19/copyright-the-newspaper-article/

The Copyright site at Cornell has a more succinct summary: http://copyright.cornell.edu/resources/publicdomain.cfm

Researching Copyright

As the Legal Genealogist notes, if the newspaper is still in publication we would advise that you first contact the publisher for permission to reproduce issues.  If the paper is no longer in publication you need to do some research.  The Legal Genealogist lists a number of sites, including the Online Books page at UPenn: http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/cce/

Certifying Research

If you decide to digitize and then host in-copyright newspapers in the CDNC, we will ask you to sign an agreement that you have researched copyright, concluded that the title or titles in question have not had copyright renewed, and that you accept responsibility for any possible copyright infringement.  We will work with you and our legal counsel to produce that agreement.

Please feel free to contact us at cbsrinfo@ucr.edu with any questions.

Last Updated
15-Mar-2013

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