Copyright, Terms of Use and Policies

See the following information for federal and state laws, library policy and other guidelines that impact use of LMDigital and its content.

Copyright and LMDigital

The materials presented on this site may be protected by federal copyright law. It is the researcher's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the Library's collections. Transmission or reproduction of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners.

Unless specific Terms of Use are noted in the metadata attached to content on this site, researchers must make their own assessments of rights under U.S. copyright law in light of their intended use.

See these links for more information.


Will the Library of Michigan give me permission to use content from this site in my own work? Is there a fee?

Unless otherwise noted, the Library of Michigan does not own rights in its collections, therefore it does not charge permission fees for use of such material and generally does not grant or deny permission to publish or distribute material in its collections. See 'Copyright and LMDigital' above for more information about using or re-using the content on LMDigital.


Rights owners - does this work belong to you?

The Library of Michigan offers content creators and rights holders options to assert copyright or limit use or reuse of their works when placed in this repository. Please be sure to ask us about this option, and see the other copyright information on this page.

If you are the copyright owner or have any information about the copyright status of an item you've seen on our website, and believe we have not properly attributed your work to you, or have used it without permission, we want to hear from you. Please use our contact form to notify us and make sure to include your contact information, a link to the relevant content, as well as a statement of the problem.


Common copyright terms defined


Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States (title 17, U. S. Code) to the authors of “original works of authorship,” including published and unpublished literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works.

Fair Use

Fair Use is a defense allowed under Title 17 that provides some latitude for use of copyrighted materials without permission.

Public Domain

A work of authorship is in the “public domain” if it is no longer under copyright protection or if it failed to meet the requirements for copyright protection. Works in the public domain may be used freely without the permission of the former copyright owner.


Another, more general, term for ‘author’.  A creator can be an individual or an entity such as an organization, business or government. Under the copyright law, the creator/author of an original expression in a work is also the owner of copyright unless there is a written agreement by which the author assigns the copyright to another person or entity, such as a publisher.

Copyright clearance

Permission granted from the creator/author allowing for use of a work beyond what is allowed under copyright law.  Permissions vary from allowances for a single, limited use to assigning a work to the public domain.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons is a non-profit organization that has created legally enforceable licenses that allow rights holders to grant specific uses of their creative works. The licenses provide a range of choices - from placing a work in the public domain, meaning the copyright owner gives up the copyright in the work, to allowing others to copy and use a work with attribution to the creator. The licenses are flexible and give creators control over their work(s).



Unless otherwise noted, the Library of Michigan is not responsible for the content of any materials on this site. Sensitive or private information inappropriately available on this site is the responsibility of the original author/creator. Only requests for redaction from the original author or creator will be considered or acted upon. Please contact us if you have a concern or complaint.


Compliance with Discrimination Laws

See the State of Michigan's statement on compliance with federal discrimination laws.