Chesney Archives

The Chesney Archives advocates fair and open use of its holdings as a primary means of advancing new knowledge. Our policy is to make holdings accessible for use whenever it is legally allowable. The Johns Hopkins University and The Johns Hopkins Health System retain the right to limit access to the intellectual property of these two institutions whenever deemed necessary.

Who owns the intellectual property of the archival collections?

The Johns Hopkins Health System and The Johns Hopkins University possess intellectual property rights to most of the materials generated by the personnel of these institutions and other types of work for hire that are represented in the collections. In addition, the archives possesses materials for which intellectual property rights are owned by institutions and individuals that have no affiliation with Johns Hopkins.

Permission for use of intellectual property

The Chesney Archives requires that archival patrons comply with intellectual property laws that apply to the archival materials that they intend to employ. The archives divides use of intellectual property into three categories: fair use, for-profit use, or not-for-profit use. Patrons can apply for license to use Johns Hopkins intellectual property or permission to use Johns Hopkins holdings for purposes other than fair use. For more information, visit our Reproductions and Permissions page.

Fair Use

The fair use doctrine was codified in Section 107 of the United States Copyright Act of 1976. Generally, fair use refers to legally permitted uses of copyrighted material for purposes such as criticism, comment, and education. This type of use does not require permission from copyright holders. More information on fair use and its applications may be found at the links below.

Fair Use information from US Copyright Office

Codes of Best Practices in Fair Use (Center for Social Media)

Not-for-Profit Use

Distribution free of charge of materials reproduced from our holdings qualifies as not-for-profit use and is eligible for a discounted fee; the tax-exempt status of an organization applying for permission is not a factor in making this determination. Examples of not-for-profit use include:

  • publication in a freely distributed journal that does not require membership or subscription fees
  • broadcast on public radio or television without advertising or video sales
  • use during a pro bono speaking engagement
  • use on a non-profit organization’s website or other non-commercial website

For-Profit Use

For-profit use denotes distribution for a fee of materials reproduced from our holdings. Examples of for-profit use include:

  • any print or digital publication offered for sale, including via subscription or membership fees
  • commercial broadcast or streaming
  • video or other media sales
  • use during a paid speaking engagement
  • use on a commercial website