September 5, 2017
As teachers, researcher and authors, you are certainly aware of the importance of protecting intellectual property rights and the significance of maintaining academic integrity. Therefore, I’m sure that, as producers/owners and users of copyrighted works, you understand the two-fold protection of the Copyright Act: protection of both the rights of the author of the works and the public right to “fair use” of copyrighted works. However, the digital revolution has changed the way we teach and learn; and therefore, I ask that you be very mindful of the ease with which resources can be downloaded, stored and duplicated in any format. Such behaviors lead to easy or unsuspecting infringement of the copyright law. Likewise, the publishers are able to monitor illegal activities and will take action against flagrant abuse/infringement of the Copyright Act.
All members of the College community must comply with the Copyright Act of 1976 (Title 17, U.S. Code) which 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works” including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic and certain other intellectual works, both published and unpublished.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 their 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. Your compliance will safeguard the College and you from any infringement against the Copyright Act.
The Copyright Act makes reasonable provision for the “Fair Use of copyrighted materials. “Fair Use” allows for the use of a small amount of a copyrighted work, as specified in the law, for the purpose of teaching at a non-profit institution, the use of which does not harm the potential market value of the work. Faculty members must observe the “fair use” stipulations. This is particularly pertinent to reserve materials posted on Canvas and media production by faculty, students and staff. It is very important that you are particularly watchful and critical of materials that students use in creating their media presentations. Part of the learning process in creating these documents is knowing the requirements for copyright compliance.
Patrice DiQuinzio Provost and Dean of the College
For more information on copyright, check out Miller library’s Fair use and copyright subject guide.