Copyright @ Earlham: Policy and FAQs, Policies and Handbooks | Earlham College

Copyright @ Earlham: Policy and FAQs

Do the Right Thing

The following copyright policy and accompanying FAQs (frequently asked questions) are designed to:

  • Provide guidance to Earlham faculty, staff, and students about legal and ethical contexts for information use.
  • Enable Earlham faculty, staff, and students to develop strategies to obtain needed permissions for information use.

The FAQs are not intended to be a substitute for legal counsel. The writers of the FAQs understand that copyright law and the interpretation of fair use are in great flux.

Questions about the FAQs, copyright, fair use, permissions, and copyright compliance at Earlham should be addressed to:

  • Neal Baker, Library Director, 765-983-1355

The authors of these FAQs wish to acknowledge several sources as a starting point:

  • Music Library Association, Copyright for Music Librarians (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License)
  • Beloit College, Information Services and Resources, Copyright FAQs (used with permission)
  • Wabash College, Copyright Compliance in Teaching and Learning at Wabash (used with permission)
Copyright: The Earlham Policy

Earlham Copyright Policy

You, as a member of the Earlham community, are expected to comply with US Copyright Law and to respect the intellectual property rights of others as per Copyright Law of the United States and consistent with Earlham Principles and Practices.

Earlham's copyright compliance guidelines may reduce the risk for possible legal actions or personal liability to (you) community members. Neither Earlham information technologies nor information resources should be used where a copyright infringement will occur. It is your responsibility to discourage copyright infringement -- copying or distributing material in any format. It is your responsibility to promote the ethical and legal utilization of intellectual property including application of "fair use" guidelines and seeking copyright permission when needed.

This policy is not a substitute for legal counsel, but offers generally accepted guidelines derived from the broader academic library profession for the appropriate use of copyrighted materials at Earlham.

Based on Copyright Compliance in Teaching and Learning at Wabash [College] dated January, 2009 and used with permission.

Copyright: The Basics

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is “intellectual property?
  • What is “copyright”?
  • What is “public domain”?
  • What works are protected by copyright?
  • What works are not protected by copyright?
  • How long does copyright last?
  • Why is copyright compliance important?

What is "intellectual property"?

  • According to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), intellectual property, "refers to creations of the mind: inventions, literary and artistic works, and symbols, names, images, and designs used in commerce." http://www.wipo.int/about-ip/en

What is "copyright"?

  • Copyright is the exclusive legal right given to creators or assignees over the reproduction, performance, distribution, translation, and public display of their intellectual property, based on specific language is the US Constitution and codified in Title 17 of the United States Code.
  • This legal right exists from the moment a work is created, whether or not a copyright notice appears.

What is "public domain"?

What works are protected by copyright?

  • According to Title 17, Section 102 of the United States Code, copyright protects "original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression, now known or later developed, from which they can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device." The Code then lists eight examples -- literary works; musical works, including any accompanying words; dramatic works, including any accompanying music; pantomime and choreographed works; pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works; motion pictures and other audiovisual works; sound recordings; architectural works.
  • Generally speaking, as a result of international treaties ratified by the US government, works of foreign origin are also protected. See Title 17, Section 104 of the United States Code.
  • So long as they are fixed in a tangible medium of expression, unpublished works are also protected. See Title 17, Section 104 of the United States Code.

What works are not protected by copyright?

  • According to Title 17, Section 102 of the United States Code, "In no case does copyright protection for an original work of authorship extend to any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle, or discovery, regardless of the form in which it is described, explained, illustrated, or embodied in such work."
  • Generally speaking, US Government works are not protected. See Title 17, Section 105 of the United States Code.

How long does copyright last?

Why is copyright compliance important?

  • It's the law.
  • Failure to comply with the law can result in the pursuit of legal action.
  • Individuals are liable for the own actions, not Earlham College.
  • Earlham College may not be able to provide assistance in cases of questionable copyright compliance.
Fair Use: The Basics

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is “fair use”?
  • How can I determine fair use? (This question frequently translates to, "What can I put in Moodle?")

What is "fair use"?

  • Copyright law allows limited copying, distribution, and display of copyrighted works without the author's permission under certain conditions known as "fair use."
  • Specifically, as per Title 17, Section 107 of the United States Code: "Notwithstanding the provisions of section 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright."
  • That said, by legislative design, there is no exact definition of fair use.
  • Instead, Title 17, Section 107 of the United States Code establishes four factors to be used in determining fair use on a case-by-case basis, listed verbatim:
    • 1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
    • 2. the nature of the copyrighted work;
    • 3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
    • 4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.
  • It is critical to note that determination of fair use depends on all four factors.

How can I determine fair use?

  • Consult a fair use checklist. For example:
    • Fair Use Checklist (Cornell University) (http://copyright.cornell.edu/resources/)
    • Fair Use Evaluator (Michael Brewer and American Library Association Office for Information Technology Policy)
      (http://www.ala.org/advocacy/copyright-tools)
    • Consult with an Earlham librarian if you still have questions after looking at a fair use checklist.
Permissions: The Basics

Frequently Asked Questions

  • When do I need to obtain permission to use a copyrighted work?
  • How do I obtain permission?

When do I need to obtain permission to use a copyrighted work?

  • If it is determined that a given use of a copyrighted work does not fall within fair use guidelines, one must obtain permission.

How do I obtain permission?

  • Obtaining permission to use a copyrighted work may be a complicated or time-consuming process.
    • You may:
      • Contact the Earlham Campus Store for help securing permission.
      • Get permission via the Copyright Clearance Center (http://www.copyright.com/).
      • Contact the author or publisher for written permission.
      • Contact the executor of the copyright holder's estate if the copyright holder is deceased.
    • You need to provide a detailed description of the nature and purpose of the intended use.
    • The copyright holder must provide written permission for use or reproduction.
    • More details on obtaining permission are available from the Copyright Clearance Center, Copyright on Campus (https://www.copyright.com/learn/media-download/copyright-on-campus/)
Copyright Compliance @ Earlham: Basic Guidelines

Legal Principles; Best Practices from the Broader Academic Library Community

Legal Contexts

  • Original works of authorship may be subject to copyright.
  • Public domain works are not subject to copyright. However, simply because content is available publicly does not mean the content is in the “public domain.” For helpful, at-a-glance information:

Earlham Best Practices: Based on Legal Contexts and the Broader Academic Library Community

  • Always use copyrighted works owned or obtained by the Earlham Libraries whenever possible, keeping in mind that ownership of a copy of a work is not the same as ownership of the underlying copyrights.
  • Always provide copyright attribution when using materials.
  • Always limit access to copyrighted materials via course-specific password protection (e.g. Moodle), use technology protections to prevent downloading and distribution, and educate students not to duplicate or distribute. Always conduct a fair use analysis prior to using materials. For example:
    • Fair Use Checklist (Cornell University)
      (http://copyright.cornell.edu/resources/)
    • Fair Use Evaluator (Michael Brewer and American Library Association Office for Information Technology Policy)
      (http://www.ala.org/advocacy/copyright-tools)
    • Always modify your use if it is not fair use, or obtain permission to use the copyrighted material from the rights holder with assistance from the Earlham Campus Store.
    • Always obtain public performance rights if planning to screen a film/DVD/video for more than the students enrolled in a course.
    • Copyrighted material in its entirety is best made available in class or by placing physical copies on reserve in the Earlham Libraries.
    • Copyrighted material should not be made available over consecutive semesters in Moodle. The Earlham Libraries will not retain print copies on reserve over consecutive semesters.
    • Linking is always best when using copyrighted works. Instead of placing a PDF copy of a JSTOR article in Moodle, for example, link to the stable URL present on each article page in JSTOR. Ask a librarian to help creating such links at any time.

Earlham Best Practices: "How Much Can I Use?" Based on Legal Contexts and the Broader Academic Library Community

  • To quote the US Copyright Office - "Under the fair use doctrine of the US copyright statute, it is permissible to use limited portions of a work including quotes, for purposes such as commentary, criticism, news reporting, and scholarly reports. There are no legal rules permitting the use of a specific number of words, a certain number of musical notes, or percentage of a work. Whether a particular use qualifies as fair use depends on all the circumstances [i.e. the four factors of fair use, Earlham emphasis]" (http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-fairuse.html).
  • For information on "all the circumstances" (i.e. the four factors of fair use) see the Fair Use Checklist from Cornell University and/or the Fair Use Evaluator from Michael Brewer and American Library Association Office for Information Technology Policy (both resources are linked above).
  • That said, with regards to questions about portion/extent, practices based on the broader academic library community suggest that less is always best when using copyrighted works for educational purposes including scholarly research or teaching.
    • Print Materials:
      • Books without chapters or fewer than 10 chapters: 10%
        • Emergent legal precedent, see Cambridge University Press et. al. vs. Paton et. al.
        • Books with 10 or more chapters: one chapter
          • Emergent legal precedent, see Cambridge University Press et. al. vs. Paton et. al.
  • A single article in a journal issue, magazine issue, or newspaper issue, owned or obtained by the Earlham Libraries or otherwise legally acquired
  • A short story (i.e. fiction) owned or obtained by the Earlham Libraries or otherwise legally acquired
  • A short poem owned or obtained by the Earlham Libraries or otherwise legally acquired
  • Graphics:
  • A single cartoon, chart, diagram, drawing, graph, or illustration
  • Always try to employ "free to use or share" images by if resorting to Google Images (filter by "Usage Rights"), or turn to resources like Wikimedia Commons. Look for images that have a Creative Commons license and be sure to follow the terms therein.
  • Audiovisual Content on DVDs (Films, Television, etc.):
  • It is permissible for all college and university professors to extract short clips from DVDs for educational purposes. Note that clips do not constitute wholesale streaming of audiovisual material.
  • The same permission extends to
    • "university film and media studies students"
    • "documentary filmmaking"
    • "noncommercial videos"
    • See US Copyright Office, Section 1201 Exemptions to Prohibition Against Circumvention of Technological Measures Protecting Copyrighted Works.
  • Music:
  • A small portion (10%) of a musical score for class study; note that the selection should not constitute a "performable unit."
  • See Guide for Music Educators (http://www.nafme.org/my-classroom/united-states-copyright-law-a-guide-for-music-educators/) and Music Publishers Association FAQ (http://www.mpa.org/content/copyright-faq) for more on photocopying print scores.
  • A digital audio file owned or obtained by Earlham or otherwise legally acquired may be made available to students via systems that limit access to students enrolled in the course. The Music Library Association (https://www.musiclibraryassoc.org/) provides additional copyright resources.

 

Questions about the FAQs, copyright, fair use, permissions, and copyright compliance at Earlham should be addressed to Neal Baker, Library Director, 765-983-1355.