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Library resources and services for Ohio University Lancaster | Pickerington.
Last Updated: Feb 8, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Copyright Information Print Page

Introduction to Copyright Information

Copyright:  "To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries." - from Article I, Section 8 U.S. Constitution

This page addresses frequently asked questions concerning copyright that arise in the academic community, especially those related to the use of copyrighted materials in the classroom.  Librarians aren't lawyers.  If a question is not addressed in this guide, or is unclear, it is the responsibility of the user to comply with the U.S. Copyright Law.


Fair Use Criteria

The Copyright Law of the United States of America, Title 17, Sect.107

Fair Use is a privilege.

Use of copyrighted material is based on the four factors detailed in the Copyright Act.  Fair Use is determined by balancing these four factors in relation to the use. 

  1. Purpose and character of the use
    • Commercial or educational use
    • For profit or not
    • Degree of transformation: value added
    • For criticism, commentary, news reporting
  2. Nature of the copyrighted work
    • Character of the work (consider factual vs fiction)
    • Worthy of (extensive) protection? 
  3. Amount and substantially used
    • Use only what's necessary
    • Quantity and quality in relation to the whole work
  4. Effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work
    • Harm to the market or potential market of a work after a portion has been used separately from the whole

Source: Four Factors of Fair Use, Ball State University:

Copyright & Fair Use Resources

  • Copyright and Fair Use Guidelines for Teachers
    An at-a-glance chart designed to inform teachers of what they may do under the law. Excellent guide.
  • Know Your Copy Rights
    Often you can use works in your teaching without permission or fee. This chart highlights some of those situations. Association of Research Libraries (ARL)
  • Fair Use Checklist
    An easy-to-use checklist to help faculty determine a materials fair use status. Source: Indiana Copyright Management Center.
  • Know Your Copy Rights: Using works in your teaching - What You CAN Do (Tips for faculty & teaching assistants in higher education)
    The scope of is using the works of others for teaching and learning. This site looks at copyright from the perspectives of all key academic stakeholders and suggests what each group can do to enhance their copyright practices and advance academic interests. Source: Association of Research Libraries (ARL).
  • Performance of or Showing Films in the Classroom  
    When the Technology, Education, and Copyright Harmonization (TEACH) Act was enacted in 2002, librarians hoped that it would provide some clarity on copyright exceptions for the digital delivery of content for distance education.
  • Educational Video Streaming: A Short Primer  
    "The much publicized educational video streaming dispute between AIME (Association for Information Media and Equipment, and UCLA poses a number of complicated copyright questions. The following article, which I prepared recently as counsel for AIME, puts the dispute in context and addresses Fair Use, as well as the TEACH Act and face-to-face teaching exemptions in Section 110 of the Copyright Act."
  • Columbia Copyright Advisory Office
    Excellent resource. Includes a Copyright Quick Guide, Copyright Ownership (Publication Agreements), Permission (Model Forms) and Special Topics.
  • Campus Copyright Center
    Designed for academic institutions, this guide helps answer questions ranging from basic copyright law to the more complex topics of ILL and e-reserves.
  • Crash Course in Copyright
    A thorough introduction to copyright from the University of Texas.

More Copyright Information

See the tab for faculty in the Plagiarism guide linked below.

by Judy Carey Nevin, Julia Robinson - Last Updated May 9, 2014
Knowing what is and what isn't plagiarism can be a tricky matter. Use this guide to find out how to avoid plagiarism.
7 views this year

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