OF COPYRIGHTED MATERIALS AT USCB
Because institutions are required to have policies on the appropriate use
of copyright in addition to copyright policies in general, the following information is presented as it
applies to copyright usage at USCB. This policy should not be construed
in any way as legal opinion, which can only be provided by the Legal Office of
Copyright Act (1976) protects intellectual property, giving its creator the
exclusive right to reproduce, prepare derivative works, distribute, perform,
display, sell, lend or rent his/her creation(s). The Act protects
"forms of expression," e.g., most writings of prose, poetry, drama,
etc., images, artworks, written or recorded music, animations, sound
recordings, motion pictures, videotapes, DVDs, Web pages, computer programs,
architectural drawings, photographs, and other creative works. Copyright
covers works created
January 1, 1978
, and after, extending for the life of the creator plus at least 70 years.
It does not cover creations determined to be in the “public domain,” such
as publications of the
government and works that were never copyrighted or whose copyrights have
expired or were terminated. (See the
into the Public Domain,” by Lolly Gasaway, at http://www.unc.edu/%7Eunclng/public-d.htm).
Copyright protects both published and unpublished works, whether or not
they carry the copyright notice or are registered with the U.S. Copyright
Office. In fact, the moment a work is “fixed” in a tangible medium
of expression, it is automatically covered by copyright. It is always
wise to assume copyright protection for whatever piece of intellectual
property you are considering using.
we work at a non-profit educational institution, we are allowed, in certain
limited circumstances, to use copyrighted work without making payment or
seeking permission from the copyright holder. The Copyright Act (1976)
sets forth four “provisions” by which copyrighted materials may be used in
non-profit educational settings:
Section 107, Fair Use Doctrine
Section 110, Classroom Exemptions for Performance & Display
Section 108, Library Exemptions
Section 504, Good-Faith Fair Use Defense
Exemptions, under the Fair Use Doctrine, are routinely made for purposes
such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, and scholarly research.
These are guidelines only; the Copyright Act doesn't set quantitative limits
on what can be copied. In determining if "fair use" has been
violated, courts try to answer the following four questions, based on the four
provisions of the law:
- Is the purpose or
character of the use commercial (for sale) or non-profit (educational)?
- Is the nature of the
copyrighted work creative or factual/informational? (The former is
protected by copyright; the latter is not.)
- What is the amount and
substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as
a whole? (Rule of thumb: use no more than is necessary. For small poems,
perhaps the entire work; for larger works, only a small amount; but NEVER
copy the "heart" or "creative essence" of a work --
- What is the effect of this use
on the potential market for, or value of, the copyrighted work? (This is
the most important question of the four; did the copying or use deprive
the copyright holder of a sale? Copying should not harm the commercial
value of the work.)
- A chapter from a book
- An article from a periodical or newspaper
- A short story, short essay, or short poem, whether or not from a collective
- A chart, graph, diagram, drawing, cartoon, or picture from a book, periodical
These guidelines apply to both print and electronic handouts.
“Consumable works," (e.g., workbooks and standardized tests) cannot be
copied without permission first being obtained from the copyright holder.
The copying MUST be done at the initiative of the professor (at a moment of
inspiration, when it is unreasonable to get permission from the copyright
owner). NOTE: If you have time to seek a publisher's reprint, or get
permission, you are obligated to do so. It is only if you do NOT have time
that "fair use" allows you to make copies for students.
Copies must be made from a legally obtained original.
Copies must contain a full citation; each print handout should carry a
Only one copy may be made for each student. No charge is made to the student
except to recover the cost of copying.
The copying may be done for only one course. The same item cannot be
reproduced from term to term. Handouts to be used in subsequent
semesters require permission from the copyright holder.
No more than one work may be copied from a single author. No more than three
authors may be copied from a single collective work (e.g., an anthology).
No more than nine instances of multiple copying may occur during a single term
Copies may be placed on password-protected Blackboard sites as long as access
is limited to students in the course. Websites open to anyone could be
in violation of copyright law.
For an article, the limit is 2,500 words.
For a longer work of prose, the limit is 1,000 words, or 10% of the work,
whichever is less.
For a poem, the limit is 250 words.
For a longer poem, an excerpt of no more than 250 words is allowed.
For a chart, diagram, cartoon or picture, the limit is no more than one from a
book, periodical or newspaper.
Currently, USCB does not authorize the use of
packets of assigned readings, i.e., “coursepacks,” assembled by the
faculty member and sold to students through the bookstore. If and when
we do, a procedure will have to be developed and put into place. Generally,
under the law, coursepacks may be:
Limited for brevity
Limited to one semester or term
Limited to non-profit educational settings
Subject to acquisition of permissions or licensing
Websites are forms of publication and as such are protected by
copyright. Instructors are advised to provide links to Web materials
found on the Internet rather than copying the actual textual material into
This section covers exemptions for the display
(show) and performance (show or play) of works considered essential to the
educational process. When a professor presents to students an
audio-visual (AV) work, e.g., video, VHS tape, laserdisc, DVD movie, 35mm
slide, filmstrip, or 16mm movie, it falls under the "Performance and
Display" heading. An AV work is a form of expression and, as such,
is protected by copyright. However, as long as the AV item, regardless
of the medium (still images, music of every kind, movies, etc.), consists of a
lawfully-made copy and the purpose of its use is curricular, the Copyright Act
(1976) allows the instructor to share it with students, but only in
face-to-face teaching situations. There are no restrictions on the type
or length of the work, and the copyright holder’s permission is not
necessary. On the other hand, the 1976 Act generally prohibits
instructors from sharing AV works in distance education teaching situations
without the express permission of the copyright holder. (See TEACH ACT
The Technology, Education, and Copyright
Harmonization (TEACH) Act (2002) extends classroom exemptions to include, for
the first time, the transmission of AV works from one location to another in
distance education courses. It permits the performance, and display of
nearly all types of works in their entirety, as long as:
The TEACH Act allows authorized persons to copy digital
works and digitize analog works for use in distance education as long as the
amount that may be converted is limited, that no other digital version is
available to the institution or, if one is, it is so technologically protected
as to prevent its use in distance education situations. Finally, as
explained in “The Teach Act Finally Becomes Law,” the Act does not cover
“materials an instructor may want students to study, read, listen to or
watch on their own time outside of class. Instructors will have to rely
on other rights they may have to post those materials, such as the fair use
- they are lawfully
- the transmission is
supervised by the instructor and technologically limited to students enrolled
in the class
- the amount
transmitted is comparable to what might be displayed in a live classroom
- the performance or
display is related directly to the instructional activities of the classroom
and forms an integral part of the class session offered
- the transmission is only
available for a specified period of time, as in a traditional classroom
session. The Act does not permit scanning and uploading full or lengthy
works to be stored on a Website for students to access throughout the entire
semester. Nor does it allow an instructor to scan and upload chapters
from a textbook in lieu of having the students purchase that material for
their own use.
- the institution provides
“notice to students that materials used in connection with the course may be
subject to copyright protection”. This may be a brief statement
included on materials distributed in the class or on an opening frame of the
distance education course.
- the institution puts into
place technological controls limiting the ability of students to download or
share copyrighted content.
- the performance or display is non-dramatic. Non-dramatic literary works
might include a poetry or short story reading. Non-dramatic musical
works might include all music other than opera, music videos and musicals
(these are dramatic/AV). As for AV and dramatic works (films and videos
of all types, stage plays, etc.), the Act only allows for transmission of
clips in “reasonable and limited portions” and transmission of displays
(still images) in “amounts comparable to typical face-to-face displays.”
’s “The TEACH Act Finally Becomes Law,” at: http://www.utsystem.edu/ogc/intellectualproperty/teachact.htm,
which also contains a handy checklist for faculty members.
And, take a
few minutes to read
’s brief Teach Toolkit Overview, at: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/scc/legislative/teachkit/overview.html
The Copyright Act (1976) permits libraries to reproduce
materials or portions of materials without seeking prior permission of the
copyright holder as long as the reproductions are not made for commercial gain
and a notice of copyright protection is stamped on the material in question.
Unpublished works currently in
the collection may be duplicated in facsimile form for preservation and
security or for deposit for research use in another library or archives which
is open to the public.
Items in the collection that are
published (copy or phonorecord) and have been damaged, lost, stolen or are
deteriorating may be duplicated in facsimile form if the library has made a
reasonable effort to purchase an unused replacement at a fair price and has
A single copy of an article or
contribution to a copyrighted work may be made for a user if:
A/one copy of an entire work may
be copied and distributed by a library/archive if:
- s/he requests it
- it is the only item
from that copyrighted collection or periodical issue
- the copy becomes
the property of the user
- the library has no
notice that the copy will be used for any purpose other than private study,
scholarship or research
- the library
displays the "Warning of Copyright Statement" prominently on the
Library employees are not liable
for copyright infringement for unsupervised use of reproducing equipment
located on library premises if the equipment displays a notice that making
copies may be subject to copyright law. However, library employees may
be liable if they are aware or have a substantial reason to believe that
systematic reproduction or distribution of multiple copies is intended.
- it is part of a
- the library/archive
first determines after reasonable investigation that the copy or phonorecord
cannot be obtained at a fair price
- the copy or
phonorecord becomes the user's property
- the library/archive
has no notice that the copy/phonorecord will be used for any purpose other
than private study, scholarship or research
- the library/archive
displays prominently the "Warning of Copyright Statement."
Interlibrary Loan is acceptable
as long as the stated use of the material being borrowed is for the purpose of
private study, scholarship, or research. Libraries may not use
interlibrary loans as substitutions for paid subscriptions and/or book or AV
Libraries owning software are permitted to make a
back-up archival copy of this software in case the original disk fails to
function. Such back-up copies are not to be used on a second computer at the
same time the original is in use.
A broadcast program may be recorded off-air
simultaneously and retained by a non-profit educational institution for 45
days after date of recording. After that, it must be erased or destroyed. Use
of the copy is restricted to educational settings where it may only be used
once. Requests must come from individual instructors. Other restrictions
apply. Be sure to read the “PBS TeacherSource” page covering off-air
recordings at: http://www.pbs.org/teachersource/copyright/copyright_fairuse.shtm
It is always acceptable to put books and other original
material on reserve in the library for students to use on-site or to make
their own photocopies for personal use. See Geni Flowers at the North
Campus and Melanie Hanes or Wendy Burns-Ardolino at the South Campus for help
with reserves. Forms are available on the library web page.
Articles are available electronically from the library’s
licensed subscription databases. Faculty members may post links to these
databases and provide article citations. In some cases, faculty members
may include a direct link to a specific article in a database if the link is
posted on a Website restricted to the class.
Books and chapters of books are available electronically from
the library’s extensive e-book collection. Faculty members may provide
students with citations including the URLs for e-books but these books have to
be checked out electronically by the individual student, and their access is
limited to one user at a time.
If a person copies material and
reasonably believes that the copying is done in accordance with Fair Use
policy, the court may refuse to award damages to whatever degree it chooses,
even if the copying does not fall under the Fair Use provision.
From Indiana University-Purdue University:
For a concise and well-written overview of copyright law
as it applies to academia, take the short “Copyright Tutorial” designed
for faculty members at
University, at: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/scc/tutorial/index.html
Texas System’s Crash Course on Copyright “Copyright Tutorial” at:
by Courses & Curriculum Committee
November 17, 2004
and passed by Committee December 1, 2004
by Faculty Organization,
December 3, 2004
by Chancellor's Cabinet,
December 13, 2004
Last modified Tuesday January 17, 2006