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Library Policies & Procedures: Intellectual Property Policy

Intellectual Property Policy

Copyright and Fair Use

Copyright is the ownership and control of the intellectual property in original works of authorship and is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States (Title XVII, U.S. Code). This protection is available to both published and unpublished works. Public Law 94-553, section 6 generally gives the owner of copyright the exclusive right to, and to authorize others to: reproduce in copies, prepare derivative works, distribute copies, perform publicly, and display publicly the work of authorship.

It is illegal for anyone to violate any of the rights provided by the copyright law to the owner of copyright. One major limitation, however, is the doctrine of "fair use." In other instances, the limitation takes the form of a "compulsory license" under which certain limited uses of copyrighted works are permitted upon payment of specified royalties and other compliances. The following guidelines provide general copyright information applicable to the Missouri Valley College community:

I. Copy Machines

All public copy machines on campus must have a warning notice on or near each machine which states that the responsibility for copyright infringement rests with the user. All employees who assist in making copies must comply with the fair use guidelines. Copies of fair use guidelines have been made available near each MVC campus machine.

II. General Fair Use Guidelines

Only the following copies may be made from copyrighted works:

  1. A single copy of one or more chapters from a book, one or more articles from a periodical title, one or more short stories, essays, short poems, charts, graphs, diagrams, drawings, cartoons, or pictures, provided the amount of copying does not exceed 10% of the entire volume.
  2. A single copy of an excerpt from a musical work, provided the excerpt is less than 10% of the entire work and is less than a performable unit, such as a section, movement or aria.
  3. A single copy of an entire work provided that a copy cannot be obtained at a fair price.

III. Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization (TEACH) Act Requirements

(This section is excerpted from an article by Judy Dahl, “Understanding the TEACH Act” in Online Classroom March 2004).

The TEACH Act was signed into law on November 2, 2002 and it focuses on copyright regulation changes that affect primarily distance education (DE) instructors and technology. The changes in copyright law, brought about by the TEACH Act, address the use of audiovisual materials, storage of copyrighted materials on computer servers, digitization of analog materials, and cached copies of copyrighted materials. The TEACH Act indicates that instructors may use free materials (those that are legally royalty-free) including those from Internet sites.

The TEACH Act has three sets of specific Distance Education requirements, as outlined below:

Academic institutions must:

  • be accredited;
  • have a copyright policy in place and inform faculty, staff, and students about the policy;
  • verify that copyrighted materials are only available to students enrolled in DE courses.

Distance education technology must:

  • limit transmissions to enrolled students;
  • ensure that students do not download or share copies of copyrighted material;
  • discontinue transmissions after the class session is over.

Instructors must:

  • acquire the copyrighted material legally (no video clips from television) ;
  • directly supervise all activities with copyrighted materials and use them only in class;
  • ensure that copyright notices are prominently displayed on all materials;
  • ensure that transmitted materials are for educational purposes, not for entertainment.

IV. General Guidelines on Public Works

Free use of materials not protected by copyright is permitted for public works. The absence of a copyright notice is not significant in determining what is protected, since all published works are protected. The following guidelines may be used to determine what constitutes a public work:

  1. Works that lack originality (e.g., phone books)
  2. Works in the public domain (no longer protected by copyright)
  3. Freeware (must be expressly stated)
  4. U.S. Government works
  5. Facts
  6. Ideas, processes, methods, and systems not protected by patents

V. Special Guidelines for Libraries

Libraries are authorized to exercise special rights in addition to fair use, as described in Section 108 of the copyright law. These rights include copying for archiving lost, stolen, damaged, or deteriorating works, making copies for library patrons, and making copies for other libraries' patrons (Interlibrary Loan).

  1. Copies made by library staff for patrons generally:
    1. All general fair use requirements apply for patron copying.
    2. Only single copies, and no multiple copies, will be made.
    3. Copy requests exceeding these limitations must be refused.
  2. Copies made by library staff for reserve and for classroom use
    1. All general fair use requirements apply for single or multiple copies.
    2. Multiple copying may not exceed one copy per student, and may not be repeated with respect to the same item by the same instructor from term to term.
    3. Copy requests exceeding these limitations must be refused.
  3. Copies made by library staff for purposes of collection maintenance
    1. A published work may be duplicated to replace a copy that is damaged, deteriorating, lost or stolen, provided that after a reasonable effort the Library has determined that an unused replacement cannot be obtained at a fair price.
  4. ​​​​​​​Interlibrary loan copying

The library may annually acquire, through interlibrary loan, or lend, through interlibrary loan, up to five copies of articles published in any one title within the last five years. If a request exceeds the five articles permitted, other options will be recommended.

  1. Digitizing works of others in electronic reserves
  1. Limit reserve materials to:
  1. Single articles or chapters; several charts, graphs or illustrations; or other small parts of a work
  2. Small part of materials required for a course
  3. Copies of material which faculty or library already possess legally (by purchase, license, fair use, interlibrary loan, etc.)
  1. Include:
  1. Copyright notice on the original
  2. Appropriate citations and attributions to the source
  3. A Section l08 ( f ( 1) notice indicating that making a copy may be subject to copyright law
  1. Copying with permission of the copyright owner
    The Library may not make copies in excess of the limits stated in the above sections without the permission of the copyright owner. It is the user's responsibility to obtain permission of the owner when such permission is needed. It is suggested that in requesting permission, the user state the purpose for the copying and the number of copies being requested. When the user presents written evidence of the owner's permission, the library may copy within the limits of the permission statement.
  2. Coursepacks
    The General Fair Use guidelines are applicable to coursepacks. Copyright notices, appropriate citations and attributions should be included. The faculty/staff member who compiles the coursepack materials shall be responsible for complying with these guidelines. Permission must be obtained for materials that will be repeatedly used by the same instructor for the same class. The Library staff will not copy coursepacks unless these guidelines are followed.

Reconsideration of Material

Occasional objections to materials will be made, despite the quality of the selection process. The College supports the principles of intellectual freedom inherent in the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States and expressed in the Library Bill of Rights of the American Library Association. In the event that materials are questioned, the principles of intellectual freedom, the right to access of materials and the integrity of the library personnel must be defended rather than the materials.

If a complaint is made, the following procedures should be followed:

  1. Inform the complainant of the selection procedures and make no commitments.
  2. Request the complainant to submit a formal “Request for Reconsideration of Materials.”
  3. Inform the President of the College and other appropriate personnel.
  4. Keep challenged materials on the shelves during the reconsideration process.
  5. Upon receipt of the completed form, the Library Director requests review of the challenged material by convening a committee comprised of representatives from each division, within fifteen working days.
  6. This “Library Advisory Committee” takes the following steps after receiving the challenged materials:
    1. Reads, views, or listens to the material in its entirety.
    2. Checks general acceptance of the material by reading reviews and consulting recommended lists
    3. Determines the extent to which the material supports the curriculum.
    4. Completes the appropriate “Checklist for Library Advisory Committee’s Reconsideration of Materials” judging material for its strength and value as a whole and not in part.
    5. Review Committee decision goes to the Library Director.
    6. The Library Director would inform the complainant in writing of the decision made by the review committee.
    7. Retain or withdraw challenged materials as mandated by the decision of the Library Advisory Committee.

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