2.05 Reproduction of Copyrighted Materials Policy

I. Policy

Central Piedmont Community College is devoted to the creation, discovery, and dissemination of knowledge, and supports a responsible, good faith exercise of full fair-use rights by faculty and staff in furthering their teaching, research, and public service, and by students in their scholarly work and learning, as codified in Title 17 of the copyright law of the United States. Furthermore, it is the intent of the College to adhere to the provisions of U.S. Copyright Law. (Visit copywright.gov for further information).

This policy exists to provide clarification regarding the lawful and unlawful uses of copyrighted materials in College-sponsored instruction, activities, events, publications, and theatrical or musical performances, which must comply with federal copyright law. The College does not condone any infringement upon the property rights of copyright owners.

Employees are prohibited from copying materials not specifically allowed by copyright law, fair use guidelines, licenses or contractual agreements, or other permissions. Employees and students who willfully disregard the copyright guidelines do so at their own risk, and assume all liability for their actions. In addition, willful violations are also considered to be violations of expected standards of behavior of employees and violations of the Student Code of Conduct by students, and may result in disciplinary action taken by the College.

The Copyright Act directs that the College develop and distribute guidelines to employees that clearly discourage violation of copyright law and inform employees of their rights and responsibilities under this law. These clarifications represent an intentional effort by the College to comply with all applicable laws regarding copyright.

II. Definitions

A. Copyright

Is legal protection for creative intellectual works. Such intellectual works are tangible medium of expression, and includes, but is not limited to, text, images, video, and audio recordings, and electronic and digital files. The creator of the work is the initial copyright owner. Copyright also means that the owner has an exclusive intellectual property right to allow and authorize others to exercise any of its rights, as defined in law. A copyright automatically arises as soon as the work is fixed. It does not necessarily require publication or registration. Copyright notice, such as the symbol © or the word “copyright” or an abbreviation of it, is not required for copyright protection for a work to exist. Most material fixed in a tangible medium of expression will be subject to copyright protection.

A copyright owner possesses specific and discretionary rights, including the right to:

  1. Reproduce the work;
  2. Prepare derivative works;
  3. Distribute copies of the work by sale, transfer of ownership, lease, licensure, etc.;
  4. Publicly perform the work;
  5. Publicly display the work, directly or by telecommunication; and,
  6. Publicly perform a sound recording by digital means.

If a party other than the copyright owner exercises any of these rights without express permission from the copyright owner, the party is in danger of infringing the copyright.

B. Fair and Lawful Use

Copyright infringement occurs when a copy is made of any copyrighted work. This work may include songs, videos, software, photographs, stories, or novels without permission of the owner, or falling outside the specific exceptions provided under copyright law. These exceptions include, without limitation, “fair use.” Fair use allows for the use of copyrighted works without the owner’s permission, protecting limited use of copyrighted work from being an infringement. The Copyright Act provides that the “fair use” of a copyrighted work, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright.” Courts may determine fair use by weighing the following four factors:

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

Not all educational uses meet the guidelines for fair use. It is important to account for these factors of fair and legal use, and to follow the guidelines presented in this policy. One should not to assume that because the underlying purpose is non-profit educational use that such use will automatically be considered fair use.

Related Policies and Procedures


Changes approved by the Board of Trustees on May 6, 2020

Changes approved by Cabinet on June 1, 2009