Quick Questions & Answers

Quick Question #1: What do I need to know about copyright?
Quick Answer #1:
Copyright law refers to Title 17 of the United States Code that deals with Copyright.  Copyright protection exists for works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression, from which they can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device.  Works of authorship include the following categories: 1) literary works, 2) musical works, 3) dramatic works, 4) pantomimes and choreographic works, 5) pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works, 6) motion pictures and other audiovisual works, 7) sound recordings, and 8) architectural works.  The Copyright Act gives the owner of the copyright the right to distribute copies of the work to the public among other rights specified in Section 106 of the Copyright Act.  All material currently published is copyrighted, regardless of an official notice.  Copyrighted material can be used if the user has purchased rights to do so, or if it is allowed under certain provisions of the Copyright Code.

Quick Question #2: How will I know that I’m operating within what copyright law allows?
Quick Answer #2:
Copyright law allows for use of copyrighted materials assuming that:

The use is considered to be “Fair Use” under the Copyright Statutes
The use is covered by statutes that govern use of online display of copyrighted content (the “TEACH Act” Statutes)
The work is considered to be in the “Public Domain”
The user has permission to use the copyrighted work

Quick Question #3:  *How can I protect myself and my students from risk of litigation as a result of copyright infringement?
Quick Answer #3:

  1. Obtain permission before using copyrighted material
  2. Become familiar with what is allowable under Copyright Law
  3. Use the information in this document to help guide your use of copyrighted content

Quick Question #4:  How do I go about creating and distributing course packs for my students?
Quick Answer #4:

  • When submitting your textbook adoptions to the SEU Bookstore, list the name of any course pack you intend to use as you would a textbook title.
  • Have clean copies of the works that you plan to include in the course pack with complete bibliographical information including page numbers for each submission.
  • All material (except that produced solely by the instructor) must have written permission to reprint by the copyright holder.  Contact either the SEU Bookstore, a designated person within your school, or create an account yourself at http://www.copyright.com.  If you create your own account, submit copies of the permissions to the Bookstore and discuss payment to copyright holders.
  • Copies of excerpts or articles with copyright permissions should be given to the Bookstore at least three weeks before classes begin.
  • Distribution of course packs is handled by the SEU Bookstore.

Quick Question #5:  What university services are available to help me obtain permission to use copyrighted materials in my class?
Quick Answer #5:

  1. The university bookstore has the most experience in helping to obtain copyright permission.
  2. Some schools have a designated person who is familiar with the procedure.  Check with your dean or dean’s assistant.
  3. If you have time, you may wish to pursue copyright yourself.

Quick Question #6:  What do I need to know about asking the copy center to make copies of copyrighted material?
Quick Answer #6: The Copy Center requires that you have copyright permission before making copies of copyrighted materials except when the material and circumstance meets educational fair use guidelines. 

Single Copying for Teachers:  Generally a single copy of a chapter from a book or an article from a periodical can be made for an instructor's scholarly research or use in teaching or preparing to teach a class.

Multiple Copies for Classroom Use:   If you have material (i.e. one chapter out of a book, an article out of a newspaper, magazine or journal, or a poem) that you have never copied before and you are making these copies on the spur of the moment (do not have time to get permission) we will make copies (not to exceed one copy per student in class) one time under the criteria of Fair Use.  Each copy must include a notice of copyright.  We keep records of all copyrighted material and should you need to make copies of this material in the future you will have to provide written copyright permission before we will make the copies for you again.

For a more extensive description of these guidelines go to:

  1. http://www.stedwards.edu/auxservices/copyright_policy.htm
  2. http://www.utsystem.edu/OGC/intellectualproperty/clasguid.htm

Quick Question #7:  What do I need to know about using materials obtained from the Library’s online databases?
Quick Answer #7:
Copyright Restrictions about Full Text Articles

Many faculty members would like to print articles from library databases for course packs, or upload or link to an article from a library database to Blackboard. Some of the library's online resources have limitations on such
use due to licensing agreements. As such, the library provides a webpage on the Faculty Services section of the library website that faculty members can consult before using articles obtained from online library resources: http://libr.stedwards.edu/user_services/fac_ser.htm

Locating Specific Articles from Library Online Databases

Because licensing restrictions vary from vendor to vendor regarding use of articles from online database vendors, faculty may wish to instruct students to access these articles directly or refer them to a reference librarian for assistance.  Students should have the complete citation to the article.  Click on the link from the library's home page entitled Periodicals. Enter the title of the journal.  This will pull up a listing of databases that contain full text for that journal.  Check the year of the citation with that of the database coverage.  Click on the blue link to the online database.  Select the correct year and volume for the journal.  From the list of full text articles within that issue, select the appropriate article, which may then be printed.  These lists are generally arranged chronologically and can be browsed.  Sometimes a search screen will appear for a periodical title, in which case a search for the title and/or author will usually work.

Quick Question #8:  I have previously placed materials on reserve for one semester in Library, and now wish to use the same materials to distribute to my class in a subsequent semester.  Can I do this?
Quick Answer #8: No.  You must obtain copyright permission to distribute materials beyond the first use.