Copyright Usage Guidelines

Use of Copyrighted Materials

Using the Guidelines


Use of Copyrighted Materials

Before students, faculty or staff use any copyrighted material, they should make their best efforts to ensure that their use falls into one of the following categories:

1. The material is in the public domain or has been licensed for open use. This includes items that have passed into the public domain due to age, items that have been placed in the public domain by their creators, items that do not qualify for copyright protection, or items that have been released under a Creative Commons license that allows for the proposed use.

2. For online course content only: The use of material meets the requirements of the TEACH Act.

3. The use of the material qualifies as Fair Use.  The Copyright Usage Guidelines are intended to aid in determining whether or not a use qualifies as Fair Use.  In general, all uses deemed to be Fair Use must also adhere to the following guidelines:

**Use should be clearly related to a class learning objective, and only as much of a work should be used as is needed to meet that objective.

**Use must include a copyright notice (stating copyright ownership). Images should have the copyright notice visible on the image itself (rather than in a prologue or credits section of a presentation).

**The copy must be made from a legally acquired source.

**Never copy the works of current Pacific University faculty, staff or students (including your own students) in public online areas without permission. See also the Statement on Student Privacy.

**Fair Use does not apply to consumable content, such as workbooks, surveys, standardized tests, et al.

**Any material given to students that contains material copied under Fiar Use should contain the following disclaimer:

Note: The following contains copyrighted material that have been copied under fair use provisions. Any further copying or use may not qualify as fair use and may be a violation of copyright law resulting in criminal or civil penalties.

4. Permission for the use is given or bought from the copyright holder.  For advice on how best to obtain permission, visit the Securing Copyright Permissions page.

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Using the Guidelines

The Copyright Usage Guidelines are intended to aid in determining whether or not a use qualifies as Fair Use; the guidelines are NOT intended to be prescriptive.  Copyright law requires that a reasonable determination be made as to whether or not a proposed use is fair; these guidelines are meant to help in arriving at that reasonable determination.  What is or is not Fair Use depends entirely on the use/situation.  It is possible that a use may even exceed the "dangerous use" limits in the guidelines and still be considered fair by a court of law.

The Guidelines are organized by the type of proposed used (e.g. multimedia presentation, copies for class, etc).  Within each type, specific guidelines related to portion, time and accessibility are divided into the following categories:

Safest Use: Although Fair Use is not clearly defined by law, Congress and several independent groups have attempted to create conservative "safe harbor" guidelines for Fair Use.  The guidelines in this category represent an aggregation of these recommendations, and faculty, staff and students may feel reasonably safe that if their use falls within this category it is allowed under the Fair Use defense. 

Questionable Use: These are uses which exceed the "safe harbor" guidelines and which require a more thoughtful determination; most uses will fall in this category.  If the faculty, student or staff member does not feel comfortable making such a determination, he or she should consult with an instructor, supervisor or the Copyright Help Desk.

Dangerous Use: These are uses that are unlikely to be considered Fair Use and are unlikely to be legally defensible for either the individual or the University.  Uses that fall in this category are strongly discouraged by the University.

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