A copyright page is a page near the front of a book that includes various pieces of information including details about the book publisher, the publication date, where the book was printed, and copyright information that is meant to protect the intellectual property held within the book. If the book has entered into a second edition or higher, then this page will also include information about the current edition as well as previous editions. For this reason, the page is sometimes referred to as the edition page. The copyright page of a book is usually printed on the first one to five leaves within the book.
It is common for a copyright page to include information about how the contents of a book may and may not be used by readers. In some cases, publishers will include a sentence or two indicating that brief quotations of the book are permissible. This is especially useful if quotations from the book are likely to be useful to book reviewers or those writing academic papers that reference the book. This statement may also indicate that reproducing the book or storing it in an electronic retrieval system is not allowed. Although the legal statements on a copyright page are often rather brief, they are meant to give a very clear and definite picture of the ways that the material within the text may and may not be used.
If a book requires a disclaimer, this may also appear on the copyright page. If, for example, there is a possibility that one of the characters in a novel can be read as a representation of an actual person, this statement may be required to protect the publisher and author from certain kinds of legal entanglements. Some publishers always include this information on their standard copyright pages. Books that quote other sources at length may include information about this on their copyright pages. This usually acknowledges the use and identifies the fact that permission to quote the source has been granted.
Information that precedes a copyright page may include promotional material for the book. This sort of material may include quotes from favorable book reviews or particularly interesting excerpts that appear later in the text. Title pages may also precede copyright pages. In many cases, the copyright page is found on the left hand side when the book is open to that page. This page may face a page that includes a dedication, a table of contents, or similar introductory information.