Policy L2
Policy Name: Copying Materials Protected by Copyright
Responsibility for Maintenance: Academic Affairs; Coulter Library

I. Policy Statement  

It is the policy of Onondaga Community College to be in compliance with all laws, rules and regulations governing the use of copyrighted materials, including, without limitation, the United States Copyright Act of 1976 as amended, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, and the TEACH Act of 2002.  Departments and individuals acting within the scope of their authority as employees of the College, including faculty, may make “Fair Use” of materials as defined in this policy.  However, permission may be required when using certain materials outside of a classroom setting.  An online classroom that is password protected is considered to be the same as a classroom. 

II. Reason for Policy  

To ensure compliance by all Onondaga Community College Departments and employees with federal laws, rules, and regulations governing the reproduction of copyrighted materials.  

III. Applicability of the Policy  

This policy applies to all employees of Onondaga Community College, including all faculty and staff. 

IV. Related Documents  

Sources available via the Internet for educators to utilize include:

Coulter Library has additional information on federal copyright law. 

V. Contacts  

 Subject Office Name Title or Position Telephone Number Email/URL
Resources regarding copyright and “Fair Use” guidelines Coulter Library Chair (315) 498-2334 [email protected]



Enforcement of this policy starts with executive leadership of the College but it is everyone’s responsibility.

To ensure compliance with this policy, Onondaga Community College will reproduce copyrighted material for faculty and staff providing the person requesting the duplicating does one of the following: 

  1. Certifies the requested reproduction by Onondaga Community College without liability; or  
  2. Provides written permission from the copyright holder. 

All departments are responsible for posting the following notice on all devices which may be used for the duplication of copyrighted material, e.g., departmental photocopiers, scanners, and video recorders:

Notice: The United States Copyright Law (Title 17 United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material.  The person using this equipment is liable for any infringement.If you have any questions about copyright issues, please check the resources at Coulter Library.  

Fair Use 

The following is the full text of the fair use statute:

17 U.S.C. § 107. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use40  

“Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. 

In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include — 

  • “(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; and
  • “(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

“The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.” 

Employees should carefully consider those four areas when contemplating use of copyrighted materials. A checklist to help determine Fair Use is available from Columbia University.

Anything that is copyrighted and distributed to others under fair use, whether photocopied or shared electronically, should give credit to the source.  

The following is general guidance regarding certain fair use issues.  Fair use determinations are very fact specific, and each instance of fair use of materials otherwise protected by copyright should be determined based on an analysis of the specific facts and circumstances involved. 

  1. Fair use applies only to reproduction for such purposes as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research.
  2. The fact that copying is for nonprofit use may have little or no bearing on the question of fair use; all four of the areas above must be weighed.
  3. Copying from a workbook designed for a course of study is most likely not fair use due to the impact on the potential market for a consumable workbook (see item 4 above in the list of Fair Use factors).
  4. Copying an entire work is typically beyond what is considered to be fair use.
  5. Fair use might allow teachers, acting on their own, to copy portions of a work for the classroom without the copyright owner’s permission, but might not allow campus offices and employees to do so for matters related to campus business.
  6. Systematic duplication of an entire work is generally not considered fair use.
  7. If resulting economic loss to the copyright owner can be shown, even making a single copy of certain materials may be a violation (e.g., workbooks and other consumables).
  8. Coursepacks do not fall within the realm of fair use. 

Obtaining Copyright Permission to Reproduce Material  

Copyright permission for materials not covered under 17 U.S.C. section 107:  Fair Use may be obtained through the Copyright Clearance Center: charges may apply.  Permission may also be requested of the copyright owner directly, by mail or e-mail. 

The Office of Management Services’ Duplicating Center will maintain a file of copyright permissions for reproduction and use of copyrighted material.   

If an article or resource can be found on the Internet, linking to it is permitted by law without permission being obtained.   

VII. Forms / Online Processes 

Approved by OCC Board of Trustees April 3, 2006