Answered By: Sanjeet Mann
Last Updated: Dec 11, 2015     Views: 32

There are three main concepts surrounding the issue of copyright:  copyright law, copyright guidelines, and contract law. To help distinguish between the three concepts, consider to whom these concepts apply and the extent of their authority.

Copyright law is the federal legislation that grants legal protection to all owners of copyright. Being rather vague and subject to interpretation, copyright law is often enhanced with copyright guidelines which aim to ground the law into tangible working practices. Institutions and groups may devise guidelines in compliance with copyright law, to address their needs and concerns.

Contract laws, or license agreements, are legal contracts that bind willing parties to certain terms. Libraries often have contracts with publishers and database providers to ensure online access to material.

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