Dorothy H. Hoover Library

OCAD University

How To: Find Information on Copyright

March 6th, 2012 · No Comments · General Posts

Looking for information about copyright law on images? Interested in issues surrounding copyright in Canada? Want to know more about intellectual property?

Library Catalogue

A good place to begin your search is to look in the OCADU library catalogue to find print resources here in the DHH library. A simple strategy is to start looking for “copyright” as a Subject.

If you find a title that looks like it may be useful, open up the record and see the other subject headings that are being used. Subject headings are a useful tool to find information of a specific topic because they will group together (i.e., collocate, in fancy library jargon) all the resources in the library about that topic/concept. Subject headings also have subdivisions which are used to focus on a specific aspect about the subject — they can be  topical, geographical, temporal or chronological, or indicate a form or genre. For example, the subject heading “Copyright” will find general works about copyright; however, “Copyright — Art,” or “Copyright — Music” will find resources specifically addressing issues surrounding copyright and art, and copyright in music respectively. Subject headings can also have multiple subdivisions, which further focus on a specific aspect. For example, “Copyright — Music — United States” will find information on resources whose subject coverage is specific to Copyright in Music in the United States.

Here are a couple Subject Headings to use to search for information on Copyright in the Library Catalogue. You can search for them under “subject” or “subject (A-Z)”:

  • Copyright
  • Copyright — Art
  • Copyright — Canada
  • Copyright — Philosophy
  • Copyright licenses
  • Intellectual property
  • Law and art
  • Patents
  • Trademarks


We also have access to quite a few useful e-books through ebrary, particularly legislation. From the OCADU library website, you can find a link to the ebrary underneath the search box for the library catalogue. Click on “Advanced” and search for any of the following suggested terms as a “Subject”:

  • Copyright
  • Copyright Act
  • Fair Use (Copyright)
  • Intellectual Property
  • Law and Legislation
  • Piracy (Copyright)

Tip: You can combine these subject headings to focus your search! For example:

  • Copyright AND Canada
  • Copyright AND Law and Legislation
  • Canada AND Copyright Act


Database: Academic Search Premier

Looking for peer-reviewed articles written about copyright? Academic Search Premier is a periodical database where you can find scholarly journal articles. In this database, you can limit to “Full Text” as well as “Scholarly (Peer-Reviewed) Articles.” You can search for Subject Terms (i.e., Subject Headings) in the thesaurus listed at the top of the screen. Here are a few Subject Headings to get you started — when using these terms, be sure to search for them in the “SU Subject Terms” field!:

  • Copyright
  • Copyright — Architecture
  • Copyright — Art
  • Copyright — Audio-visual materials
  • Copyright — Digital media
  • Copyright — Interactive media
  • Copyright — Fashion design
  • Copyright — Official information
  • Copyright — Photographs
  • Copyright licenses
  • FAIR use (Copyright)
  • Library copyright policies
  • Public domain (Copyright law)
  • Royalties (Copyright)


OCADU Library Website

If you are looking for information about OCADU’s Copyright Policy, visit the library webpage, click on For Faculty on the left side bar, and then click on “Copyright for Faculty.” Here you can find links to the Copyright Act and information on the “fair dealing exception.” You can also find information on OCADU’s Copyright Licenses (Access Copyright and Digital Content Licenses), as well as details outlining policies for copying on campus. Towards the bottom on the page, you can find additional information regarding open content, general copyright information, and copyright information for visual artists!

Want more? Come talk with us at the reference desk! We’re here to help!

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