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POLICY #5.54
SUBJECT: Copyright Policy


The purpose of this Policy is to define the University’s policy for the use of Copyrighted material in compliance with U.S. Copyright law.


  1. U.S. Code 17 U.S.C. §107 Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use
  2. U.S. Code 17 U.S.C. §108 Limitations on exclusive rights: Reproduction by libraries and archives
  3. U.S. Code 17 U.S.C. §110 Limitations on exclusive rights: Exemption of certain performances and displays


  1. Copyright: Copyright is a set of exclusive legal rights authors have over their intellectual property for a limited period of time. The owners’ rights include copying the works, making derivative works, distributing and performing the works. Currently the author’s rights begin when a work is created. A work does not have to have a Copyright notice or be registered to be Copyrighted. Copyright protects “a unique expression” but does not protect facts, systems, processes or ideas. The Copyright Act (Title 17 of the U.S. Code) is available at the link in Section V.


  1. The use of Copyrighted material shall be determined through a good faith attempt to remain in compliance with legal and ethical mandates while exercising one’s right to free speech.  Exercising specific exceptions to Copyright protection should be considered when exploring the need for permission from the Copyright owner.
  2. Fair use - The four (4) factors are:
    1. the purpose and character of use;
    2. the nature of the Copyrighted work;
    3. the amount and substantiality of the portion taken; and
    4. the effect of the use upon the potential market.
  3. Exemptions for library or archive reproductions – Section 108 of Title 17 identifies uses for which libraries or archives may reproduce Copyrighted material for specified purposes.
  4. Exemptions for certain performances and displays – Section 110 of Title 17 provides special exceptions for the performance or display of Copyrighted material by students or instructors for face-to-face teaching activities in a place devoted to instruction.


The responsible office for this Policy is the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs. For questions regarding Copyright issues in the classroom, contact the Gerald R. Sherratt Library. For legal advice on Copyright, contact the Office of Legal Affairs.


Date Approved: June 25, 2004

Amended: September 28, 2012