Copyright Guidelines for Faculty

General Copyright Guidelines

The Federal Copyright Act of 1978 was enacted in order to define the rights of copyright owners. It also established "fair use" guidelines that limit the exclusive rights of copyright owners. "Fair use" is very important to educators because it allows limited copying privileges of copyrighted works without obtaining permission from the owner. However, it must always be remembered that inappropriate copying without permission of the owner is stealing and deprives the owner of just rewards of his/her created work. Therefore, a rule of thumb is: if my copying of a created work deprives the owner of monetary sales or other profit from his/her work, such copying should be considered illegal.

As technology has changed, new issues have arisen. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 was enacted in order to address copyright concerns relating to the digital environment.

In general, the following guidelines may be helpful.

Never copy an entire book or journal

Never make multiple copies of entire book or journal chapters

Never make multiple copies of workbook pages

Do not duplicate purchased video or audio tapes (preservation or "back-up" copies are permitted)

Do not show unpurchased off-air/off-satellite videos in class more than once

Do not incorporate copyrighted materials into internet webpages (hyperlinks to copyrighted materials are permitted)

More detailed information is available from the librarian.