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Let the OITP Copyright Slider Answer Your Questions!

Copyright Slider

[Update, August 21: sliders are on backorder right now. We hope to have more by end of September, 2008.]

Copyright laws are complex and can be very confusing! Is a work in the public domain? Do you need permission to use it? When does copyright expire? Find these answers and more at your fingertips with this handy, compact Copyright Slider designed by Michael Brewer, OITP Copyright Advisory Committee member, and published by the Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP).

This single, sturdy product provides instant access to copyright laws and guidelines. Simply align the arrows by date of publication and determine a work’s copyright status and term. And the “Permission Needed?” box provides a quick answer to this very important question.

This is a great tool for librarians, teachers, artists, students, researchers, attorneys and anyone who needs clear, concise information on copyright terms and conditions.

Here is an example of how the slide-chart works:

Copyright SliderA library in rural Pennsylvania is digitizing its local historical collection on the copper mining industry in the region. One of the collection texts, Memoirs of a Copper Miner, was published in 1953 and is still protected by copyright. Or is it? Align the black arrow on the slide-chart to materials published between 1923 and 1963 and discover that works originally published in the U.S. between 1923 and 1977 without a copyright symbol are in the public domain! Memoirs of a Copper Miner was published in 1953 and does not have a copyright symbol. Let the digitizing begin!

The ALA Copyright Guide Slide-Chart is an easy, important resource to have at your fingertips! Simple to use, the slide-chart packs a book’s worth of information into a single, heavy-duty cardboard tool that fits easily into a desk drawer, laptop case or book bag. Forget searching through a book full of confusing, convoluted information — just align the arrows and get answers to your copyright questions!

OITP Copyright Slider Prices

  • 1 slider – $5
  • 20+ sliders – 10% discount
  • 100+ sliders – 15% discount
  • 200+ sliders – 20% discount

Estimated shipping costs:

  • 1 slider = 59¢
  • 10 sliders = $2.70
  • 11-24 sliders = $4.80
  • 25-50 sliders = $7.80
  • 51-125 sliders = $9.80
  • 125+ = $9.80 each additional box

To place your order, send an e-mail message to with the number of sliders you wish to purchase and mailing address information.

Please make checks or money orders payable to:

American Library Association
Washington Office
Attn: Accounts Receivable
1615 New Hampshire Ave NW – First Floor
Washington, DC 20009

The following two tabs change content below.
Jacob Roberts is the communications specialist for the ALA Washington Office.


  1. That looks very nice. The picture of the back of the slider shows a Creative Commons symbol and the notation that some rights are reserved, but there doesn’t appear to be mention of which Creative Commons license was used. Under what conditions is ALA publishing this tool?

  2. Peter —

    Yes, we need to be clearer about our CC license on the slider. The license is an attributed- non-commercial license. This means non-profits can make copies or distribute the slider but they must attribute the work to OITP. They can also make derivative works from the slider but if they do, they must carry the same licensing terms on the new work they create. For-profits should ask permission for all uses, unless they determine that their use is a fair use.

  3. […] done less with theory about the rights and lefts of “copy,” and more with things like this, hm? Too late now, though. . . . I’m off to reread a little Bijker on the social construction […]

  4. […] for Information Technology Policy is now featuring the digital copyright slider to go alongside the original slider. Thanks to Michael Brewer, OITP Copyright Advisory Committee member and desiger of both […]

  5. […] a challenge to keep all of these factors in your head. OITP’s Copyright Subcommittee created the Copyright Slider tool to help users and librarians wade through some of these issues. For instance, if a work was […]

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