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An explanation of copyright and permission policies

The Library of Congress, as a publicly supported institution, does not own rights to material in its collections. Therefore, it does not charge permission fees for use of such material and cannot give or deny permission to publish or otherwise distribute material in its collections.

It is the user's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions (such as donor restrictions, privacy rights, publicity rights, licensing and trademarks) when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the Division's collections. We try to supply as much information as we have, but sometimes key information is lacking, and ultimately you know how you plan to use the material and the level of risk with which you are comfortable.

Whenever possible, the Library of Congress provides factual information about copyright owners and related matters in the catalog records, finding aids and other texts that accompany collections. Transmission or reproduction of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners.

Items published in the United States before 1925 or by the United States government are in the pubic domain and can be used without restriction. 

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Last Updated: Jun 15, 2020
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