Copyright Policy

Effective Date: September 2005

Purpose of Policy

This policy is intended to serve as a guide for the faculty, staff, and students of Piedmont Technical College concerning the reproduction of intellectual property, in accordance with the Copyright Law of the United States (hereinafter referred to as 17 U.S.C. (United States Code)). Except as allowed by this code, it is a violation of law for persons to copy, distribute, perform, digitally transmit (in the case of sound recordings), or to create a new work based upon a copyrighted work without the permission of the copyright owner. 

In addition to the guidelines delineated in this policy and the detailed information contained in the Piedmont Technical College Online Copyright Center, the College’s Instructional Support Center will guarantee that employees receive at least one opportunity per academic term to learn more about copyright issues. Faculty, staff, and students who intentionally disregard this policy and the law are responsible for all penalties resulting from copyright infringement.

Categories Protected by Copyright

  1. Literary works
  2. Musical works (along with accompanying words)
  3. Dramatic works (along with accompanying music)
  4. Pantomimes and choreographic works
  5. Pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works
  6. Motion pictures and audiovisual works
  7. Sound recordings
  8. Architectural works (17 U.S.C. 102)

Author's Exclusive Rights

  1. To reproduce the work in copies or phonorecords
  2. To prepare derivative works based on the copyrighted work
  3. To distribute copies or phonorecords of the work by sale to the public or other transfer of ownership, rental, lease, or lending
  4. To perform literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and motion pictures and other audiovisual works publicly
  5. To display literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and pictorial, graphic, or sculptural works, including the individual images of a motion picture or other audiovisual work publicly (17 U.S.C. 106)

Public Domain & Duration of Copyright

It must be noted that all the rules of public domain included here apply only to the United States and to American authors. Rules of public domain vary in other countries and are not covered in this policy. An international copyright law providing universal protection of works does not exist, nor do universal rules on the use of copyrighted material. Most countries, however, do offer protection to foreign works under certain conditions, which have been greatly simplified by international copyright treaties and conventions. For further information, Circular 38a, "International Copyright Relations of the United States,” may be obtained from the United States Copyright Office. The Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act (1999) extended 20 years of additional protection to most copyrighted material. Hence, many of the guidelines for public domain were changed by this law in 1999. 

  1. Copyrighted works originally published before 1925 are now in the public domain. 
  2. Works published from 1925 through 1977 published without a copyright notice are now in the public domain. 
  3. Works originally published on or after January 1, 1978 will enter the public domain 70 years after the death of the author. Therefore, no works in this category will enter the public domain prior to January 1, 2049.
  4. Works originally created and published by a corporate author on or after January 1, 1978 will enter the public domain 95 years after publication, or 120 years after creation, whichever occurs first. Therefore, no works in this category will enter the public domain prior to January 1, 2074.
  5. When two or more people (“joint authors”) collaborate to create a single copyrighted work, the work enters the public domain 70 years after the last surviving author’s death. If one of the joint authors is considered a corporate author, the copyright would last 95 years from publication or 120 years after creation, whichever comes first. 
  6. Rules 2 and 3 above apply to works created, but not published, prior to January 1, 1978. However, if the work created before January 1, 1978 was later published before December 31, 2002, its copyright will not expire before December 31, 2047. 
  7. If a substantial number of copies of an uncopyrighted work by an American author was published and distributed in the United States prior to March 1, 1989, the work is in the public domain.
  8. Publications of the United States Government are documents prepared by an officer or employee of the government as part of that person's official duties (17 U.S.C. 101) and as such are in the public domain and are not copyrighted. These may be photocopied without restrictions. However, there is a small number of U.S. government publications which have been copyrighted, and a notice will appear in them. These publications are subject to the college’s general copyright policy.

Use of Copyrighted Material by Faculty , Staff and Students

Fair Use

The doctrine of fair use represents an attempt to strike a balance between the constitutional provisions for free speech and appropriate compensation to authors as protected by copyright law. 17 U.S.C. 107 states that copyrighted materials may be reproduced under special circumstances which constitute fair use. Among the factors to be included in the consideration of what constitutes fair use are: 

  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
  4. The effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work. (17 U.S.C. 107)

As a non-profit, publicly supported institution, Piedmont Technical College exists to advance knowledge through research and teaching, and to provide services to its patrons for learning and the public good. Therefore, reproductions made for patrons can be assumed to be for non-commercial educational purposes. The majority of the library’s collection contains scholarly materials intended for the academic community and as such can support the criteria for fair use.

Copy Services

Requests for photocopies of works will be permissible under fair use, provided that the following criteria are met: 

  1. Use is academic in nature, for non-profit, educational purposes. 
  2. Purpose is for time-shifting, to make material available for study at the patron's convenience. 
  3. Request is for a single copy of one original, as opposed to multiple copies of the same original. 

Photocopy requests of a non-academic nature will be filled according to the twenty-percent rule, or one article per journal, one chapter per book, etc.

Quick Guide for Classroom Copying: Individual Copying by Instructors

An instructor may make one copy of any of the following for research and teaching purposes:

  1. Book chapter
  2. Newspaper or periodical article 
  3. Short story, short essay, or short poem
  4. Chart, graph, diagram, cartoon, or picture from a book, periodical, or newspaper. More than one of any of these may be copied if included in a chapter or article being copied.

Multiple Classroom Copies

One copy per student may be made under these circumstances:

  1. A complete poem is less than 250 words and not more than two pages in length, or an excerpt from the poem is no more than 250 words
  2. A complete article, story, or essay is less than 2500 words, or an excerpt is not more than 1000 words, or, in the case of a longer work, an excerpt is not more than 10% of the whole
  3. One chart, diagram, graph, cartoon, or picture per book or periodical, excluding copyrighted and/or syndicated cartoon characters
  4. Two pages (or not more 10% of the text) in special works (such as children’s picture books and comic books which are primarily composed of pictures with limited text) 

Limitations to the Above Guides

  1. Copying must be done or requested by individual instructors only.
  2. The copies are used in only one course at the college. If an instructor intends to use the same materials regularly in the same course, permission should be obtained.
  3. Only one work may be copied per author.
  4. Works by no more than three authors in a collected work or periodical volume may be copied in a single semester or term.
  5. There may be no more than nine cases of multiple copying by an instructor in one semester or term.
  6. Copying may not be done to create other works such as anthologies, or other collective works.
  7. Works such as workbooks, standardized tests, test booklets/answer sheets may not be copied.
  8. Students may not be charged by an instructor or a college beyond the actual costs of copying.
  9. Copying may not be used as a substitute for purchasing.

Quick Guide for Audio-Visual Copying and Use

Audio-visual copying (including videotapes) must meet the standards of fair use. Generally, copying material to another format is not acceptable without permission.

Classroom Use

In-classroom use of copyrighted audio visual materials is permissible if the performance or display of a work by instructors or pupils is in the course of face-to-face teaching activities of a non-profit educational institution, in a classroom or similar place devoted to instruction, unless, in the case of a motion picture or other audio visual work, the performance, or display of individual images, is given by means of a copy that was not lawfully made under this title, and that the person responsible for the performance knew or had reason to believe was not lawfully made. (17 U.S.C. Section 110)

Transmission of Audio-Visual Materials to the Classroom
By definition, transmission of AV materials to classrooms, homes or work sites constitutes public performances and requires appropriate licenses. Educational institutions have special exemptions allowing transmission of performances of a nondramatic literary or musical work or display of a work, by or in the course of a transmission if: a. the performance or display is a regular part of the systematic instructional activities of a governmental body or a nonprofit educational institution; and b. the performance or display is directly related and of material assistance to the teaching content of the transmission; and c. the transmission is made primarily for reception in classroom or similar places 
normally devoted to instruction.... (17 U.S.C Section 110)
Off-Air Recording of Broadcasts for Classroom Use

  1. Broadcast programs may be recorded and retained by a nonprofit educational institution for a period not to exceed forty-five calendar days after the date of recording. At the end of the forty-five-day retention period, all off-air recordings must be erased or destroyed immediately. Broadcast programs are television programs transmitted by television stations and cable companies for reception by the general public without charge. (PBS has negotiated varying degrees of extended taping rights, which differ from this standard federal guideline; please consult their extended taping rights policy for further information.)
  2. Videotaped recordings of broadcast programs may be shown to students only within the first ten school days of the forty-five-day retention period, and they may only be shown two times: once by the teacher(s) in the course of relevant teaching activities and repeated once only when instructional reinforcement is necessary. They may be shown in classrooms and other places devoted to instruction within one building, cluster, or campus or in the homes of students receiving formalized home instruction. After the ten-day period, teachers may use the off-air recordings to the end of the forty-five-day retention period only to determine whether to purchase the videotapes. 
  3. Off-air recordings may be made only at the request of and used by a teacher. They may not be recorded in anticipation of such requests. No broadcast program may be recorded off the air more than once at the request of the same teacher, regardless of the number of times that the program is broadcast.
  4. A limited number of copies may be made from each off-air recording to meet legitimate teacher needs. For example, if several teachers request tapes of the same program, duplicate copies are permitted to fulfill requests. This is not a duplication license. All copies are subject to the same limitations as the original. 
  5. All copies of off-air recordings must include the copyright notice on the broadcast program as recorded. Off-air recordings need not be shown in entirety, but they may not be altered or physically or electronically combined or merged into anthologies or compilations. Educational institutions are expected to establish appropriate control procedures to maintain these guidelines' integrity. (Guidelines For Off-air Recording of Broadcast Programming For Educational Purposes, 1981)

Taping Television Programs from Satellite
According to the Federal Communications Act (U.S.C., Title 47), satellite programming and transmission falls under the jurisdiction of the Federal Communications Commission. Recording from satellite requires a license and is not covered by fair use guidelines.

Copying Computer Software
The owner of a copy of a computer program is not infringing copyright by making or authorizing the making of another copy or adaptation of the program provided: 

  1. That such a copy or adaptation is created as an essential step in the utilization of the computer program in conjunction with a machine and that it is used in no other manner, or 
  2. That such new copy or adaptation is for archival purposes only and that all archival copies are destroyed in the event that continued possession of the computer program should cease to be rightful. (17 U.S.C. Section 117)

Digitizing Images for Educational Purposes

  1. Lawfully acquired analog images may be digitized for educational purposes unless such images may be acquired by purchase or licensing at a fair cost in digital form. If the material is readily available in digital form, permission is required to digitize such analog images.
  2. Low-resolution thumbnail images may be created from lawfully acquired images for use by students currently enrolled in courses. Access to these images must be terminated at the end of the academic term.
  3. Students may download images and print them for their own study and completion of assignments, and they may publicly display these images in their assignments. Images displayed in assignments may also be kept in students’ portfolios after the academic term has ended. 
  4. The college may display these digitized images through its own secure electronic network, and access is not allowed beyond this network.
  5. Instructors’ lawfully acquired digital images may be displayed for classroom use through the college’s secure electronic network. Instructors may also use these images when participating in academic conferences.
  6. Instructors may have existing, lawfully acquired analog images digitized without permission if an immediate need arises in the classroom. However, permission should still be sought for this digitization.
  7. Older analog material which was lawfully acquired may be digitized for immediate educational use. However, simultaneously, an attempt must be made to identify the copyright holders and to seek permission for both immediate use and continued use.

Intellectual Property Issues for Faculty

  1. If research is funded by another agency, then the contract or grant for that research determines the distribution of income from the product.
  2. If an instructor invents, writes, or produces a product without the use of college resources, then he owns full rights to the income from that product or work.
  3. If the instructor uses college resources in the creation of a work or product, several options exist:
  • The proceeds are shared by the individual instructor and the college; percentages are determined by the labor agreement.
  • The proceeds are shared until the "fair market value" of the resources has been repaid.
  • There may be provisions that students and other faculty on the campus may use the product for no charge. If it is marketed off the campus, then the individual faculty member and the college share the proceeds.
  1. The instructor owns the copyright to his classroom lecture notes and materials, and also to his publications. 
  2. Videotapes and sound recordings of a classroom lecture or demonstration are also protected by copyright.
  3. A live presentation of a lecture or other classroom demonstration may not be protected by copyright.
  4. Instructors’ Powerpoint slides are protected by copyright.
  5. The college holds the rights to works or products which are created by faculty and staff members in fulfillment of their job responsibilities.
  6. The college administration cannot make signing away rights a condition of employment. (The National Education Association,
  7. Copyright law allows for the performance or display of copyrighted works in face-to-face classroom teaching without permission from the copyright holder. [17 U.S.C. Section 110 (1)] Traditionally, this privilege has allowed the display of images, showing of videotapes, and the performances of plays and musical works in the classroom. (University of California Copyright Policy)
  8. Instructors may show portions of copyrighted works or performances over a secure, digital network to enrolled students only, for brief periods of time, as instruction is taking place. This may be done without the permission of the copyright holder.
  9. Such audiovisual works may not be accessed by students for the entire duration of the course. The number of images used in a digital class should be comparable to the amount used in a live classroom session. Furthermore, reasonable measures must be taken to prevent students from viewing the material after the class session is over. 

The Library & Copyright Issues

Library Reserves
At the request of a faculty member, photocopies of articles or chapters of books may be placed on reserve in the library. Under the fair use guidelines, photocopies of these materials may be made without requiring permission from the copyright owner. One copy for every 10-15 students in the class is the number recommended in the ALA Model Policy Concerning College and University Photocopying for Classroom, Research and Library Reserve Use. 

Interlibrary Loan
The library endeavors to allow optimal participation in the interlibrary loan process for all Piedmont Technical College users. At the same time, Piedmont Technical College attempts to follow the guidelines which were formulated by the National Commission on New Technological Uses of Copyrighted Works (commonly referred to as the CONTU guidelines) to address the problem of copying in aggregate quantities as it might apply to the 
interlibrary loan process. Though these guidelines are merely recommendations, without the force of law, the Piedmont Technical College Library adheres to CONTU, not only because the majority of ILL departments at other institutions abides by these guidelines, but also because the guidelines uphold the fair use doctrine. The guidelines allow the library to obtain five journal articles per title from the last five years free from royalty considerations, and do not place restrictions on articles over five years old. The CONTU guidelines apply to both borrowing and lending, but the responsibility for compliance falls primarily on the borrowing library.

Libraries and archives are permitted to copy published or unpublished works for the purpose of preservation (17 U.S.C. 108). Piedmont Technical College will observe the following conditions before reproducing library materials for preservation purposes: 

  1. Material comes from collections that are open to the public.  
  2. Reproduction is made with no purpose of commercial advantage. 
  3. Notice of copyright is included in the reproduction. 
  4. For published works not in the public domain, a suitable replacement at a fair price will be sought, and reproduction undertaken only if an acceptable replacement is unavailable. 

Abiding by these guidelines, The Piedmont Technical College Library will engage in preservation reproduction of works in all formats, whether produced in-house or at Piedmont Technical College’s request through cooperative projects or by commercial vendors.

Non-Book Materials
The Piedmont Technical College Library follows the general copyright policy for all non-book items except under the special circumstances noted below. 17 U.S.C. 108h "generally removes musical, graphic, and audiovisual works from the specific exemptions of section 108," but "it is important to recognize that the doctrine of fair use under section 107 remains fully applicable to the photocopying or other reproduction of such works...Nothing in section 108 impairs the applicability of the fair use doctrine to a wide variety of situations involving photocopying or other reproduction…of copyrighted material in its collections, where the user requests the reproduction for legitimate scholarly or research purposes." (U.S. Congress, House 1976, pp. 78-79)

  1. Video / Sound / Film Recordings
    1. Complete copyrighted works or substantial portions thereof will not be duplicated. If the material is out of print or no longer available at a fair price, duplication is allowed.
    2. Portions of commercially acquired copyrighted works may be copied for instructional purposes. The amount and substantiality of the portion copied in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole must be considered in determining whether the use of the excerpt constitutes fair use. 
  2. Music Scores

A single copy of an entire performable unit (section, movement, aria, etc.) that is: 

  1. confirmed by the copyright owner to be out of print, or 
  2. unavailable except as part of a larger work, may be made by or for a teacher solely for the purpose of scholarly research or classroom instruction.
  3. Internet Sites

The Internet provides a form for disseminating information; therefore, copyright law applies to Web sites. The Internet provides easy access to information, but this fact does not mean that the information is in the public domain or is available without limitations. Copyrighted works found on the Internet should be treated the same as copyrighted works found in other forms. The same principles of fair use for printed media also apply to Internet sources.

  1. Fax Copies

A fax machine is a copying machine and is subject to the same rules for classroom, library, and interlibrary loan photocopying. The necessity of making a photocopy of the material in order to use the fax machine is not a violation as long as the photocopy is destroyed after transmission. The law does not permit the library to keep a photocopy of an article, book, etc. and, in fact, subsections (d) and (e) specifically require that the copy become the property of the user. (17 U.S.C. Section 108)

The TEACH Act & Distance Education

The TEACH (Technology, Education, and Copyright Harmonization) Act was passed by Congress in 2002. As Laura Gassaway, respected copyright scholar, notes, The TEACH Act "removes the concept of the physical classroom, and recognizes that a student should be able to access the digital content of a course wherever he or she has access to a computer." 

The act provides guidelines for incorporating copyrighted material into distance education. It amends the allowances and limitations of the Copyright Act (U.S.C. 17) to apply to digital learning. The Act applies only to accredited, nonprofit, educational institutions. It applies only to material which would be used or shown in a real-time class; in other words, materials which students would use individually and on their own time for studying (coursepacks, textbooks) are excluded from the TEACH Act.

Faculty Quick Guide for the TEACH Act

  1. Do not use works sold commercially for distance education purposes.
  2. Do not use pirated works or any other works which are known to be unlawfully made.
  3. Limit works to a length or amount which would reasonably be used in a real-time class session. (This provision, as mentioned above, excludes textbooks and coursepacks.)
  4. A performance, display, or work must be part of the “mediated instructional activities” specified in U.S.C. 17 Section 110(2). In other words, the instructor must make the copyrighted material an integral part of a lecture or other actual class assignment; the work cannot be supplemental or optional in nature in order to be protected.
  5. Electronic access to works must be limited only to the students currently enrolled in the course and should only be available during the course session. The college is responsible for providing technological tools which prevent students from copying the works and also limit their access to the works beyond the course session.
  6. Students must be given notice that some course materials are protected by copyright.
  7. Copies may be made of digital works or analog works may be digitized only if:
    1. They are used solely by the body or institution that made them, and no further copies or phonorecords are produced from them, except as authorized under Section 110(2).
    2. The digital version of the work that is available to the institution is subject to technological protection measures that prevent its use for Section 110(2). 

Copyright Infringement & Penalties

Penalties for copyright infringements are found in 18 U.S.C. Section 2319. The penalties have been increased over the years, and the range of infringements has been widened due to copyright issues arising from the use of electronic sources.

Penalties for First-Offense Violations
If a defendant is convicted for the first time of the unauthorized reproduction or distribution, during any 180-day period, of at least 10 copies or phonorecords, or 1 or more copyrighted works, with a retail value of more than $2,500, he can be imprisoned for up to 5 years and fined up to $250,000, or both. (Note: The term "retail value" in this context is not completely clear in all cases. A case in which retail value can easily be established is the illegal copying of computer programs. Prosecutors in copyright cases generally consult the Intellectual Property Rights Prosecution Manual for guidelines.)

Penalties for Repeat Violations
If a defendant has previously been convicted of copyright infringement, he may be sentenced to a maximum of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both.

Penalties for Misdemeanor Violations
A defendant is guilty of a misdemeanor violation if he has reproduced fewer than 10 unauthorized copies during any 180-day period, or if the retail value of the work is less than $2,500. These violators may be sentenced to a maximum of one year in prison and may be fined a maximum of $100,000. (18 U.S.C. Sections 2319 and 3571)

Copyright violations have a three-year statute of limitations.