Fair Use is the most common exception that limits the rights of copyright holders. If your use is a fair use, you do not have to seek permission to use copyrighted materials. Without fair use, quoting from copyrighted works, providing copies to students, and many other activities would be infringements.
Fair Use is based on a balancing of four factors. You must evaluate and apply all four factors to each situation. Those factors are:
You do not need to satisfy all factors. Where the factors favoring fair use outnumber the factors weighing against fair use reliance on the fair use exception is justified. If less than half the factors favor fair use, permission should be obtained. If you have a 50-50 split, get permission or get advice from the college attorney.
Section 504(c)(2) of the law has a special provision for non-profit educational institutions that believe their use of a work constitutes fair use. It is called the Good Faith Fair Use Defense, and a court may reduce statutory damages to zero if it believes that the infringer had reasonable grounds to believe the use was fair.
In each instance where you are using a copyrighted work, you should perform a fair use analysis based on the four factors set out above. Each situation will be different, and you should maintain a record of your decision-making process as your analysis could be critical in demonstrating your good faith should your use be challenged. Following are links to several checklists available on the Internet that you can use to analyze your use.
The library has many resources on the topic of copyright that you can locate through the online catalog. The titles below are examples of the kind of materials we have.
Crews, Kenneth D. Copyright Law for Librarians and Educators. 3rd ed. Chicago:American Library Association, 2012.
Russell, Carrie. Complete Copyright. Chicago: Office for Information Technology Policy, American Library Association, 2004.
There is also some excellent information on the Internet; following are links to some web sites that you may find useful:
Copyright & Fair Use. Stanford University, http://fairuse.stanford.edu/
Copyright Information Center. Cornell University, http://copyright.cornell.edu/
Copyright, Fair Use, & Education. Copyright Advisory Office, Columbia University Libraries, Information Services, http://copyright.columbia.edu/copyright/
Risk management: failure to follow copyright principles exposes Keuka College to risk/liability
Academic Integrity: we expect academic integrity from our students so we need to set an example or we are operating under a double standard
Purpose: The writers of the Constitution felt uniform copyright law was important because the country needed well-informed citizens so access to knowledge was essential. Copyright derives from the United States Constitution, Article 1, Section 8 which states "The Congress shall have the power ... to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors exclusive Rights to their respective Writings and Discoveries."
Congress gave copyright holders exclusive rights to reproduce and market their works for limited times. Those rights include:
The most recent major revision came in the Copyright Act of 1976 that abolished all state copyright law making copyright a Federal issue to be dealt with in the Federal Courts.
For more information on the fair use and photcopying provisions of copyright law see government publication Circular 21, Reproduction of Copyrighted Works by Educators and Librarians. Following are some general guidelines from Circular 21:
Copying for Classroom Use:
A single copy may be made of any of the following by or for a teacher at his or her individual request for his or her scholarly research or use in teaching or preparation to teach a class:
Multiple Copies for Classroom Use:
Multiple copies (not to exceed in any event more than one copy per pupil in a course) may be made by or for the teacher giving the course for classroom use or discussion; provided that:
Some other things to consider:
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT DOCUMENTS
Title 17 of the United States Code Section 105 (17 U.S.C. 105) states that "Copyright under this title is not available for any work of the United States Government." What this means is that publications of the United States federal government are in the public domain.
STATE GOVERNMENT DOCUMENTS
The copyright of materials produced by state governments varies from state to state. The State Copyright Resource Center is a resource created to help identify the relevant laws in each state.