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Copyright & Digital Projects: Home

Creating and publishing a digital project? Discover a workflow for answering copyright and other law & policy-related digital publishing questions.


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What is this guide for?

⇒ Are you publishing digital scholarship online?

  • This guide covers questions both about what you put in your digital project, and what happens when you're finished creating it and are preparing to publish it online. 
  • From the beginning of the creation process all the way to publishing your project online, this guide will walk you through addressing copyright and other legal considerations based on the content you're using. It will also help you address related questions once you're finished, including the intellectual property rights you have as an author, and how to share your project. You can get started by jumping straight to Apply the Workflow.

⇒ Do you need this guide? Probably!

  • Are you using materials created by other people? Perhaps you're using photos, text excerpts, scientific drawings, or diagrams? This guide explains when you don't need permission to use them, but how to get it if you do.
  • Are you using materials from an archive or database? You might have signed agreements or accepted terms of use that affect what you can publish from those materials. This guide explains how to proceed.
  • Are you publishing information about particular living individuals? You might need to consider their privacy rights. This guide will help you address privacy-related questions that affect how you can make your scholarship available.
  • Once you've finished creating your project, do you have questions about what you own, and what your rights as an author are? Use this guide.
  • Do you have questions about how and whether to license your project for use by others? This guide addresses them.

Best Practices, Not Legal Advice

This guide is for informational purposes and should not be construed as legal advice. While the Library cannot provide legal advice, if you are a UC Berkeley student, faculty, or staff member, we'd be delighted to consult with you as you consider copyright issues further in drafting your scholarship. To schedule a consultation, please e-mail the Scholarly Communication Officer, Rachael Samberg, at