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SCAD is committed to complying with the United States Copyright Act. Thus, SCAD has enacted this Copyright Compliance Policy to encourage and promote legitimate use of copyrighted materials by faculty members, staff members and students. SCAD expects all faculty members, staff members and students to comply with the Copyright Act and this policy. Compliance is particularly important with respect to digital technology.
What is copyright?
The Copyright Act protects "original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression," including:
Copyright protection is available to both published and unpublished work and applies regardless of the form of the work-print, audio, video or electronic format. Section 106 of the Copyright Act grants copyright owners the exclusive right to:
Work that is not protected
The following types of work are not protected by copyright law and may be used freely by faculty, staff and students:
Public domain refers to work that is available for unrestricted copying by the public at large without prior permission. Material that resides in the public domain includes work where the copyright has expired; work that was created too early to have copyright protection (anything published prior to 1923); works by the federal government; and work donated to the public by authors or artists (i.e., freeware). All copyrighted work passes into the public domain upon the expiration of its term of protection. The numerous changes in the term of copyright duration have made it difficult to determine whether a work is currently in the public domain. Any work created since Jan. 1, 1978, is still protected. If a work is older than 1923, it is in the public domain. If a work was published before 1964 and the copyright owner did not obtain a copyright extension, it is also in the public domain. While materials published by the United States federal government fall into the realm of public domain, work created by state and local governments do not.
Use of copyrighted materials
Pursuant to the Copyright Act and this policy, faculty members, staff members and students shall "use" all or part of a copyrighted work only with the copyright owner's written permission, or if a legal exception applies (as discussed below). "Use" of a work includes copying, distributing, making derivative work, publicly displaying or publicly performing the work. Faculty members, staff and students who place copyrighted materials on any Web site (e.g., the SCAD Web site, a faculty- or student-sponsored Web site, a public Web site, a password-protected Web site, etc.) are responsible for compliance with the Copyright Act and this policy.
Any faculty member, staff member or student who violates the Copyright Act may be sued by the copyright holder and is subject to criminal (for willful violations) and civil (for both willful and ignorant violations) penalties. Ignorance is no excuse and the penalties are harsh. Thus, it is important that all faculty members, students and staff members become familiar with this policy and comply with the law.
Furthermore, if the college determines that any faculty member, staff member or student is in violation of this policy, such person shall be subject to disciplinary action by SCAD.
Exceptions to the Copyright Act
There are exceptions to many of the exclusive rights granted to copyright owners. For example, the first sale doctrine states that an individual who has purchased a legal copy of a work may then resell or lend that copy. Other statutory limitations include the fair use, performances and displays in face-to-face teaching, reproductions made by libraries, and the Technology, Education and Harmonization Act, all of which are discussed below.
Section 107 of the Copyright Act (the Fair Use Statute) allows a person to copy limited amounts of copyrighted material without requiring prior permission. The right of fair use is specifically applicable to teaching, research and scholarship. However, its scope depends on the following four factors:
These factors must be weighed and balanced to determine whether use is "fair" or not. As a result, fair use is complicated and subject to differing interpretations. There are no specific rules that strictly define how much of a work is an acceptable amount to use.
Performances and displays in face-to-face teaching
Section 110(1) of the Copyright Act provides faculty members with a separate set of rights in addition to fair use, specially the right to display (show) and perform (show or play) others' work in the classroom. However, this exception only applies in face-to-face teaching, not distance education. Thus, a teacher may show or perform any work (including still images, music of every kind and movies) related to the curriculum, regardless of the medium, face-to-face in the classroom. There are no limits and no permission is required.
Section 108 of the Copyright Act authorizes libraries to archive lost, stolen, damaged or deteriorating work; make copies for library patrons; and make copies for interlibrary loan. For information regarding library reserves, refer to the SCAD Library Reserves Policy.
TEACH Act - eLearning
The TEACH Act allows faculty members at accredited educational institutions to use work that is protected by copyright in distance education (including on Web sites and by other digital means) without first obtaining the owner's permission. The TEACH Act updates the Copyright Act allowing online instructors to electronically transmit "limited and reasonable portions" of copyrighted work. The TEACH Act, however, is not as broad as the face-to-face rights provided in Section 110(1). The TEACH Act sets forth specific requirements and limitations that must be adhered to when digitally displaying or performing copyrighted work in connection with distance education. These requirements are set forth in the SCAD eLearning and TEACH Act Policy.
When in doubt as to whether a work is not protected (i.e., in the public domain) or an exception applies (i.e., fair use or the TEACH Act), faculty members, staff members and students should request written permission from the copyright owner before using the work. Furthermore if an exception does not apply and the work is protected, then faculty, staff and students must obtain permission before using the work. Permission may be obtained through the Copyright Clearance Center. The Copyright Clearance Center manages copyright permissions for a large number of text publications, but not for audio, video or other multimedia works. Visit the Copyright Clearance Center Web site at www.copyright.com.
Guidelines for compliance
For specific examples of uses of copyrighted material that are permissible, refer to the SCAD Copyright Compliance Guidelines.