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Copyright and Fair Use Policy

Copyright Essentials

Anyone can sue for infringement or can require recall of infringing materials. They have these rights whether the material is on the Internet or on paper, whether distribution is limited or wide spread, whether the expression is printed in words, or pictures, or sound.

If you provide materials by means of College equipment or network connections, the College as your Internet Service Provider may have obligations to take down your materials if the College receives a claim of infringement. The College may exercise additional disciplinary measures for repeated or flagrant misuse.

The U.S. Copyright Office has a web page devoted to copyright information:

The Sections 'Copyright Basics' and 'Frequently Asked Questions' can provide you with essential information about copyrights.

Copyright Resources

Many resources are available to North Central College authors and publishers to help them accomplish their goals without infringing on the intellectual property rights of others. If there is infringement, there may be a lawsuit or a requirement that the infringing material must be withdrawn. If a student is publishing on the network, it may involve issues both in copyright and in FERPA privacy law.

Other information:

Fair Use

The Fair-Use Statute, Section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976, places limitations on exclusive rights. Using copyrighted work for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, may not be an infringement of copyright if it meets the guidelines for fair use.

The four fair use guidelines are:

  1. Purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes
  2. Nature of the copyrighted work
  3. Amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to copyrighted work as a whole
  4. Effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work

The fact that a work is unpublished does not bar it from the fair use guidelines. Teaching, research, and other such educational activities alone do not make it fair use. Those items represent only one of the four factors that users must analyze in order to conclude whether or not an activity is lawful.

For information on fair use and multimedia, including examples of fair use that apply directly to education, consult:

For further information on copyright and fair use in the classroom, on the internet, and the World Wide Web, consult the University of Maryland University College's web site:

Note: The information contained in this web site is not a substitute for legal advice. If you have a question or need advice concerning the law, please consult with an attorney.

Reviewed: 5/11/16

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