3.11 Copyright policy
Produced by the Library staff and approved by the Library Committee,
Trinity Christian College continues to take appropriate measures to ensure that its faculty members are aware of copyright laws, familiarize themselves with their guidelines, and comply thoroughly with their requirements. These regulations and agreements are useful tools when faculty members use materials owned by others in the course of scholarship, research, or service learning opportunities.
Often, you do not need to seek copyright permission. If the work is available for free from a legitimate (i. e., non-pirated) web site, or if the work has been licensed by the library (e. g., a journal article in a database), you may provide a link to the work rather than make copies of it. Or if the work is in the public domain (see below) it is no longer covered by copyright law. Check the library copyright pages for details or contact a librarian.
First seek permission from the author/creator of the work. It is not uncommon for the author to transfer rights to the publishers or another licensing agency. A fee may be assessed for the usage or reproduction of material needed. The process of securing permission will take time so it is best to prepare ahead of time in case permissions are denied or requests are not responded to.
The public domain is not a place. A work of authorship is in the “public domain” if it is no longer under copyright protection or if it failed to meet the requirements for copyright protection. Works in the public domain may be used freely without the permission of the former copyright owner.
A public domain work is usually:
- produced by the United States government
- simply facts or other non-protectable work
- one whose copyright has expired
- one which was produced as a public domain work (e. g., Creative Commons licensed)
Check the library copyright page or contact a librarian to determine if a work is in the public domain
The Fair Use Exemption
In order to use copyrighted material in a course (face-to-face or online), for a departmental event, or for a public event (on- or off-campus, in person or online), you must either have permission of the copyright holder or claim an exemption under fair use. (See section 107 of the Copyright Code at: http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html)
The fair use exemption is not governed by specific rules, but by an evaluation the user makes concerning the use being made of the copyrighted material. The user, not the college, is responsible for any copyright violation.
“Your evaluation should weigh four factors:
- Purpose and character: If your use is for teaching at a nonprofit educational institution, this is a factor favoring fair use. The scale tips further in favor of fair use if access is restricted to your students.
- Nature of copyrighted work: Is the work fact-based, published, or out-of-print? These factors weigh in favor of fair use.
- Amount used: Using a small portion of a whole work would weigh toward fairness. But sometimes it may be fair to use an entire work (such as an image) if it is needed for your instructional purpose.
- Market effect: A use is more likely to be fair if it does not harm the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work. But if it does, this could weigh more heavily against fair use than the other factors.”
All four factors do not have to weigh in favor of fairness for the use to be judged fair, but if together they weigh toward fairness, your use is better justified. If the factors together lean in the other direction, the likelihood that you will need to obtain permission from the copyright holder increases. (Know your copyrights, © 2007 Association of Research Libraries, used under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 License)
Film Screenings or Audio Performances
“You may display or perform a work in your class without obtaining permission when your use is:
- for instructional purposes;
- in face-to-face teaching; and
- at a nonprofit educational institution.
If you don’t meet all three of these criteria, consider whether what you have in mind is a fair use.” (Know your copyrights) All other uses (for example, showing a film outside of class to which persons other than your class members are invited), are likely to be considered public performances (see below). Check the library copyright page for examples of fair use.
Public performance rights are a special category of copyright. Most educational uses of audiovisual works (whole or in part) will be covered under the face-to-face teaching exemption noted above. Any other performances, such as a movie night, departmental screening, lecture, concert or background music use will require permission from the rights holder, and possibly the payment of fees. Rights must be cleared regardless of whether a piece is used in whole or in part. For example, film clips or musical samples will need to be cleared.
In any of these cases, a public performance license must be purchased. Contact Swank Motion Pictures (www.swank.com or 1-800-876-5577) at least two weeks prior to the intended showing to obtain pricing for a particular film. For musical rights, contact the library for a consultation. Prior to publicizing the event, contact the president's council member to whom your department reports to verify that you have cleared the rights.
Additional Copyright Information
- Copyright overview: https://www.lib.purdue.edu/uco/CopyrightBasics/
- Copyright myths: http://guides.northpark.edu/content.php?pid=270244
- Copyright status by date of publication: http://www.librarycopyright.net/resources/digitalslider
- Copyright for authors and other content creators: http://www.arl.org/focus-areas/copyright-ip/author-rights