Library Resources

Copyright & Fair Use Policy

 

What is the purpose of the Copyright Policy?

Copyright & Fair Use
What is Copyright?
How do I know if a work is protected by copyright?
What is Fair Use?
Don’t all university activities fall under fair use?
Who is responsible for making decisions on copyright and fair use?
What are the duties of the Copyright Committee?
How do I know if my purposes constitute fair use?

Guidelines For Fair Use - Classroom/Research
May I make a single copy for classroom use or research?
May I make multiple copies for classroom use?
What if classroom copying falls outside of fair use?
May I show a rented, borrowed, or purchased copy of a video in class?
May I record something from television and show it in class?
May faculty or students incorporate copyrighted works into multimedia presentations?
May I incorporate materials found on the Internet into research or classroom use?
May I use materials created or published outside the United States?
May I use copies of sound recordings or sheet music in the classroom?

Guidelines For Fair Use - Library - Reserves/including Blackboard
What items may be placed on reserve in the library?
May items be placed on reserve electronically (Blackboard)?
May I copy or link to online databases and electronic journals?
How many times may I place an item on reserve?
Who determines if a reserve reading is within fair use?
What if a reserve items falls outside of fair use?

Guidelines For Fair Use - Library - Copying
May the library make copies of copyrighted material for patrons for research purposes?
May the library make copies for preservation purposes?
Is the library responsible for copyright infringements on unsupervised copy machines or other reproducing equipment?

Guidelines For Fair Use - Library - Interlibrary Loan
May the library make copies to send elsewhere for interlibrary loan?

Guidelines For Fair Use - Computer Software
Is computer software subject to fair use exemptions?
May I make copies of software that I personally own?
May I make copies of software that is owned by the university?

Guidelines For Fair Use - Computer/Internet Use
May I download music or share files?

Guidelines For Fair Use - Performance Rights for Copyrighted Video Recordings
May I show a video that I have purchased or rented?
How do I get public performance rights for a video?

Guidelines For Fair Use - Performance Rights to Produce a Play or Musical
How do I get performance rights for a play or musical?

Guidelines For Fair Use - Obtaining Rights to Use Music in a Live Performance
How do I obtain rights to use a specific artist’s version of a song?
How do I obtain rights to have someone play or sing a song live?

What is the purpose of the Copyright Policy?

The purpose of this policy is to assist members of the Alvernia Community in meeting research and teaching needs in accordance with a good-faith understanding of the principles of copyright and fair use.

COPYRIGHT & FAIR USE

What is Copyright?

Copyright is the group of fundamental rights given to the creators of “original works of authorship” that are “fixed in any tangible medium of expression.” These mediums include, but are not limited to: print, video, DVD, sound recordings, computer disks, and Internet communications. The rights of the copyright owner include:

  • The right to make copies of the work
  • The right to sell or otherwise distribute copies of the work
  • The right to prepare “derivative works”
  • The right to perform or display the work

Copyright infringement occurs when anybody other than the copyright owner exercises any of these rights without permission.

How do I know if a work is protected by copyright?

Under today’s law it is not necessary to register a work with the U.S. Copyright Office in order to receive copyright. Just because you do not see a copyright notice, it is not safe to assume that a work is not subject to copyright. Generally, all tangible and original works are protected by copyright. The exceptions are:

  • Works in the public domain, which cannot be copyrighted
  • Ideas and facts
  • Words, names, slogans, or other short phrases cannot be copyrighted but may be protected by trademark law
  • Works produced by the federal government
  • Works for which copyright has expired
  • Works created during or after 1978 are protected for the life of the author + 70 years
  • Works published before 1978 can be protected for a maximum of 95 years
  • For more information see When Works Pass into the Public Domain

What is Fair Use?

Fair use allows for the use of copyrighted materials, within certain limitations, for purposes such as “criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research.” The law does not clearly delineate the boundaries of fair use. Instead, the law provides four factors, each of which must be weighed equally in order to determine fair use:

  • Purpose and character of the use – This factor favors nonprofit educational use, such as scholarship and teaching. However, an educational purpose does not automatically lead to fair use; the other three factors must also be considered.
  • Nature of the copyrighted work – Works that are factual in nature, as opposed to works involving creative expression, are more generally considered to be within the realm of fair use.
  • Amount of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole – In general, the larger percentage of the work used, the less likely it is to be considered fair use. Although the copyright statute does not give specific numbers or percentages of a work that may be used, there are guidelines that cover most instances of fair use.
  • The effect of the use on the market value of the fair work – This factor weighs against fair use in instances where the purchase of an original should have occurred. Copying for purposes or research and scholarship are seen as having less effect on the market value than copying in lieu of purchasing works for classroom use.

Don’t all university activities fall under fair use?

Fair use usually only applies to instructional use, such as in the classroom or the library. University activities such as extra-curricular clubs and organizations, the yearbook, or musical and dramatic presentations usually fall outside the umbrella of fair use. However, even in instructional use, all four factors must be considered in order to determine fair use.

Who is responsible for making decisions on copyright and fair use?

The primary responsibility for copyright decisions lies with the individual who is responsible for overseeing the relevant project or activity. Faculty are responsible for ensuring student compliance with copyright law in classroom research and activities. The Library Director oversees copyright compliance in library-related matters. Student Services is responsible for overseeing copyright compliance in extra-curricular activities. Questions on copyright issues may be referred to the Copyright Committee.

What are the duties of the Copyright Committee?

The Copyright Committee drafts copyright policy, acts as an information resource, and advises on possible copyright violations. The Copyright Committee does not dispense legal advice or act as a policing agent.

How do I know if my purposes constitute fair use?

Copyright law rarely offers a definitive application of fair use for any specific situation. Therefore, fair use depends on a case-by-case reasonable and responsible application of each of the four factors. Educational purpose weighs in favor of, but does not guarantee, fair use. Congressional committees have established “safe harbor” guidelines for fair use exemptions for institutions of higher education. However, these guidelines are not law. They represent minimal permissible conduct under which fair use can be applied. While many consider these guidelines to be too restrictive, they define the limits within which we can be sure of complying with copyright law. These guidelines include:

  • Agreement on Guidelines for Classroom Copying
  • Guidelines for Off-Air Recording of Broadcast Programming for Educational Purposes
  • Guidelines for Educational Uses of Music

GUIDELINES FOR FAIR USE

Classroom/Research
(Adapted from the Agreement on Guidelines for Classroom Copying)

May I make a single copy for classroom use or research?
A single copy can be made of the following:

  • A chapter from a book
  • An article from a periodical or newspaper
  • A short story, short essay, or short poem
  • A chart, graph, diagram, drawing, cartoon or picture

 

May I make multiple copies for classroom use?

Multiple copies (not to exceed one copy per student in a course) may be made for classroom use, provided that the copying does not have a significant detrimental impact on the market for the copyrighted work. Classroom copying should meet the standards of brevity, spontaneity, and cumulative effect.

  • Brevity – Instructors should limit copying to a small portion of the material (for example, a chapter from a book or an article from a journal or newspaper).
  • Spontaneity – Instructors should not copy the same materials for repeated semesters or for multiple classes without obtaining permission.
  • Cumulative effect – Copying should not be used to create or substitute for anthologies, compilations or collective works. Copying should not be used in lieu of purchasing books, publisher’s reprints or periodicals. There shall be no copying of items meant to be “consumable” for example, tests or exercises.
For a complete explanation of brevity, spontaneity, and cumulative effect see Agreement on Guidelines for Classroom Copying.

 

What if classroom copying falls outside of fair use?

Instructors wishing to make copies that fall outside of fair use have several options:

  • For copies of lengthy excerpts from books or journals, the library may be able to purchase the item and put it on reserve for student use. If the library cannot purchase the item they can request permission from the Copyright Clearance Center and the cost will be billed to the academic department.
  • Instructors who use multiple readings for multiple courses and/or for multiple semesters should assemble a course packet through the university bookstore. Please allow 2 months for the packet to be completed. For further information, contact the university bookstore.
  • Instructors can request written permission from the copyright holder.

May I show a rented, borrowed, or purchased copy of a video in class?

Legitimate (legally produced) copies of videos may be shown in the classroom as part of face-to-face instruction. The classroom must be restricted to only the educators and the students. See below for extra-curricular use of videos.

May I record something from television and show it in class?

Off-air recordings may be used once by instructors within the course of relevant teaching activities. The program must be viewed within 10 school-days of the recording. PBS has negotiated extended taping rights for many of its programs. For complete instructions on off-air recordings see Guidelines for Off-Air Recording of Broadcast Programming for Educational Purposes.

May faculty or students incorporate copyrighted works into multimedia presentations?

Both faculty and students can incorporate brief portions of lawfully acquired copyrighted works into multimedia presentations. Generally, up to 10% of the work may be used. In the case of graphics, illustrations or photographs you may use no more than 5 images from one artist of photographer and no more than 10% of the images from a collection.
Faculty may use the multimedia presentations for:

  • Student assignments
  • Remote instruction over a secure network
  • Conferences, presentations, or workshops
  • Professional portfolios
Students may use the multimedia presentations for:
  • Classroom assignments
  • Professional portfolios
Projects used for commercial or noneducational purposes fall outside of fair use. The fair use of copyrighted material in multimedia projects lasts for two years only. Permission must be obtained to use the projects beyond the two years. For complete guidelines on the use of copyrighted materials in multimedia projects see Fair Use Guidelines For Educational Multimedia.

 

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May I incorporate materials found on the Internet into research or classroom use?

Materials found on the Internet are subject to copyright law in the same way that other media are. See the Fair Use Guidelines For Educational Multimedia. A work does not need to be published or have an attached copyright notice in order to be protected under copyright law. While no specific guidelines have been developed governing use of materials found on the Internet, the principles of fair use must be followed.

May I use materials created or published outside the United States?

Because of United States involvement in international copyright agreements, some works published or created outside the United States may be used within the United States subject to United States Copyright Law.

May I use copies of sound recordings or sheet music in the classroom?

  • A single copy of recorded music may be made from recordings owned by the university or an individual professor for use in the classroom.
  • A single copy of student performances may be made for instructional purposes or as part of a student’s portfolio.
  • Sheet music of entire works may be copied only for emergency use in performances. Replacement copies should be purchased in due course.
  • For non-performance academic use copies may be made of sheet music for up to 10% of the entire work.
For complete guidelines see Guidelines for Educational Uses of Music

What items may be placed on reserve in the library?

Materials placed on reserve will be for non-commercial, educational use by the students. Reserve items should not replace the purchase of textbooks or other course material. Instructors should limit the reserve copy to a small portion of the entire work. The following items are considered to be within fair use:

  • An article from a journal
  • A chapter, or other small excerpt from a book
  • Books that are owned by the university or the individual instructor
  • Videos that are owned by the university or individual instructor
  • Software that is owned by the university or individual instructor
When possible, the materials used for reserve will be purchased or licensed by the library.

 

May items be placed on reserve electronically (Blackboard)?

As a rule, single articles or short book excerpts may be placed on reserve on Blackboard with the understanding that access to the Blackboard course is restricted to only those enrolled in the course and the material is not intended to be used more than one semester. For more information see Statement on Fair Use and Electronic Reserves.

May I copy or link to online databases and journals?

The vast majority of these products are available to Alvernia under the terms of license agreements. These contracts determine how each electronic journal or database can be used. License terms override copyright law where they differ. Generally, it is acceptable to use one article per issue and to put it on electronic reserve for only one semester. Using more than one article per issue, or using an article for more than one semester, would require permission from the publisher. Linking to a database or an e-journal from a course page is generally allowed and is the recommended method for providing online information content. EbscoHost, JStor and others of our licensed databases often provide a “persistent link” or a “stable URL” which you may copy and paste onto your course page which will allow the student to access the article directly.

Saving the content (even a single article) from a database or an e-journal and reposting it in an open access (i.e. non-password-controlled) environment which can be accessed by those not in the class is prohibited. Reposting even in a password controlled environment may or may not be allowed. Contact Sharon Neal, Library Director, sharon.neal@alvernia.edu to help you determine whether the e-journal or database from which you wish to post content allows it.

How many times may I place an item on reserve?

  • Materials owned by the library – If the library owns a copy of the book or journal, then there is not a limit on the number of times the item may be placed on reserve.
  • Materials not owned by the library - If you’re using a reserve reading for multiple semesters or for multiple classes, that is considered to be a factor weighing against fair use. According to the Agreement on Guidelines for Classroom Copying, copying shall not “be repeated with respect to the same item by the same teacher from term to term.” This restriction has been interpreted in different ways. Some interpret it to mean that an instructor must get permission to use the same reserve reading in consecutive semesters. Others believe that permission must be sought for the second instance an item is placed on reserve no matter when it occurs.

Who determines if a reserve reading is within fair use?

Decisions on copyright and fair use rest with the individual responsible for the relevant activity. In this case, it is the instructor. However, the library reserves the right not to place an item on reserve if they judge that the nature, scope, or extent of the copied material is beyond the reasonable limits of fair use. In order to make this determination, full bibliographic information (author, title, journal title or book publisher, and date) must accompany the reserve request.

What if a reserve items falls outside of fair use?

  • Instructors who use multiple readings for multiple courses and/or for multiple semesters should assemble a course packet through the University Bookstore. Please allow 2 months for the packet to be completed.
  • The library can request permission from the Copyright Clearance Center and the cost will be billed to the department.

Library - Copying

Libraries are given special rights other than fair use. These rights are described in Section 108 of the Copyright Law.

May the library make copies of copyrighted material for patrons for research purposes?

  • Copies may be made of portions of copyrighted works provided that the copy becomes the property of the individual patron and that the library has no notice that the copy is for purposes other than research or scholarship.
  • Copies of entire works may be made provided that the copy becomes the property of the individual patron, the library conducts a reasonable investigation to conclude that a copy cannot be obtained at fair price, and that the library has no notice that the copy is for purposes other than research or scholarship.

May the library make copies for preservation purposes?

  • If the work is unpublished the library may make a copy if the work is currently in the library’s collection and the copy is purely for preservation or security or for deposit at another library.
  • If the work is published the library may make a copy if a reasonable investigation has been conducted to determine that a copy cannot be purchased at a fair price and the copy is to replace a copy that is damaged, deteriorating, stolen or in an obsolete format.
  • Any copy or phonorecord that is reproduced in digital format may not be made available to the public in that format outside of the premises of the library or archives. For more information see the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Is the library responsible for copyright infringements on unsupervised copy machines or other reproducing equipment?

The library is not responsible for any copyright infringement provided that a notice is displayed informing users that copying is subjected to copyright law.

Library – Interlibrary Loan

See CONTU Guidelines on Photocopying under Interlibrary Loan Agreements

May the library make copies to send elsewhere for interlibrary loan?

Copies for interlibrary loan become the property of the individual patron and fall under the same rules as other copies for research purposes. In addition:

  • The lending library must attach a copyright notice as it appears in the original.
  • The borrowing library may not borrow in such quantities “as to substitute for a subscription to or purchase of such work.”
  • If in one year the library requests more than 5 articles from the most current 5 years from any single journal, the library will either consider the journal for library subscription or pay the copyright fee.

Computer Software

Is computer software subject to fair use exemptions?

In general fair use does not apply to computer software because:

  • Computer software must be copied in its entirety in order to work.
  • Unauthorized copying of computer software has a direct impact on the market value of the work.
  • The use of computer software is usually governed by a licensing agreement and a breach of it is actionable as a breach of contract even if the breach by itself does not constitute copyright infringement.

May I make copies of software that I personally own?

Unless the software is copy-protected, you may make a single copy as necessary to use the software on the computer for which it is licensed. You may also keep one copy of the software for backup purposes. However, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act makes it illegal to circumvent any technological protection measures, even if the purpose falls under fair use.

May I make copies of software that is owned by the university?

You may not make copies of software that is owned by the university. Check with Information Technology to inquire about the availability of particular software and the licensing restrictions that apply.

Computer/Internet Use

As outlined in the Responsible Use Policy Alvernia University students, faculty and staff are expected to comply with copyright laws. Be aware that legal actions have been taken against individuals using university networks for unlawful purposes and that the university will not protect you from such action.

May I download music or share files?

It is not legal to download or share copyrighted material, including music or video files, for which you do not hold the copyright. It is also a violation of the university’s Responsible Use Policy.

Performance Rights for Copyrighted Video Recordings

May I show a video that I have purchased or rented?

Unless video recordings are sold or rented with public performance rights or licensed for public performance, they should be considered “home-use only,” defined as a showing in a private residence that is restricted to a “normal circle of family and its social acquaintances.” Viewing a video in a dorm room with a few friends is considered to be home-use. Anything in excess of this, including viewing by a club or other organization requires permission from the copyright holder. The only exception to this is instructional use in the classroom.

How do I get public performance rights for a video?

  • Public performance rights may be purchased from the copyright holder or the distributor, if the distributor has authority from the copyright holder to grant public performance rights. For assistance in obtaining public performance rights, contact The Office of Student Activities.
  • For more information see Getting Permission.

Performance Rights to Produce a Play or Musical

How do I get performance rights for a play or musical?

The rights for most plays and musicals are held by play publishing houses. Be aware that some plays or musicals are restricted and my not be available for production. For assistance in obtaining rights or for guidance in performing a play or musical, contact the Theatre Program. For more information see Obtaining Rights to Produce a Play or Musical or Use Music in a Live Performance.

Obtaining Rights to Use Music in a Live Performance

To confirm rights to perform music in a live performance on campus, contact The Office of Student Activities. For more information see Obtaining Rights to Produce a Play or Musical or Use Music in a Live Performance.

How do I obtain rights to use a specific artist’s version of a song?

For on campus performance rights information, contact The Office of Student Activities. For more information, contact the record company and the publisher. Publisher information can be found at either ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers), BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.), or SESAC (Society of European Stage Actors & Composers).

How do I obtain rights to have someone play or sing a song live?

For on campus performance of a song live, contact The Office of Student Activities for information. For more information, contact the composer/lyricist’s representative and the publisher. Contact information is available at either ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers), BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.), or SESAC (Society of European Stage Actors & Composers).

Rev. 09/16/10 sn




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