Understand Copyright Law — the Library Can Help

copyright symbolUnder GRCC policy, all employees must comply with U.S. Copyright Law.  Anyone who disregards copyright does so at their own risk, assuming all liability, including criminal penalty as defined in Title 17 of the U.S. Code. Normally, this is not a matter involving the GRCC Legal Office.

The most straightforward way to guarantee compliance is to obtain a copyright holder’s written permission. When duplication services are needed for classroom use, instructors should be prepared to clearly demonstrate permission for things like pages from Instructor Manuals and Test Banks, copies of media, and online sources. At the discretion of Media Technologies or GRCC ePrint, further proof of permission may be required.

“Fair Use”

There is no simple test to determine “fair use”; only the courts can authoritatively determine “fair use.” Section 107 of the Copyright Act sets forth four considerations to help you judge “fair use:”

  1. The purpose and character of 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

How the Library & Learning Commons (LLC) can help

Department liaison librarians can help you verify citations and help determine a copyright owner. They will show you how to create online linking solutions that are copyright compliant, and they can guide you through the process of obtaining your copyright clearance online.

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