September 16, 2015
Dear Washington College,
As teachers, researchers, authors, students, and staff we are aware of the importance of the protection of intellectual property rights and the significance of maintaining academic integrity. Therefore, as producers and users of copyrighted works, the two-fold protection of the Copyright Act is critical to our everyday work: protecting the rights of the author and safeguarding the public right to “fair use” of copyrighted works.
I encourage all members of the College community to comply with the Copyright Act of 1976 and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The Copyright Act provides protection to the authors of original works including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works, both published and unpublished. Copyright is defined as the exclusive right of the creator to reproduce, prepare derivative works, distribute, perform, display, sell, lend, or rent his or her creations and to authorize others to do so. All tangible forms of intellectual expression are covered by the Copyright Act and include all print, digital, media, performances, and computer software. Our copyright compliance will safeguard the College and ourselves from any infringement.
The Copyright Act makes reasonable provision for the “fair use” of copyrighted materials. “Fair Use” allows for use of a small amount of a copyrighted work, as specified in the law, for the purpose of teaching at a non-profit institution when the use does not harm the potential market value of the work. I am asking each faculty member to observe the “fair use” stipulations.
The digital revolution has transformed the way we teach and learn. However, the ubiquitous use of technology has made it easy to download, store, and duplicate resources in any format and leads to easy or unsuspecting infringement of the copyright law. Likewise, publishers are able to monitor illegal activities and will take action against flagrant abuse of the Copyright Act. This is particularly pertinent to E-reserves, multi-media productions, and presentations by faculty, students, and staff. Please be particularly watchful of materials which students use in creating their media presentations. Part of the learning process in creating these documents is to understand the requirements of the copyright law.
Washington College Copyright policy and guidelines will help you/us stay in compliance with the copyright laws of the United States. If you have further questions, please contact Ruth Shoge (firstname.lastname@example.org) in Miller Library.
Provost and Dean