Faculty Resources

Questions About Copyright?

To make appropriate compliance decisions, be sure to check whether the work ("intellectual property") is protected by copyright or license. License restrictions generally define and/or pre-empt copyright "fair use". When seeking copyright permissions, be sure to contact the copyright owner (not necessarily the author if s/he has signed away copyright ownership to the publisher, etc.).

Contact in the UNF Library by ​email: lib-cr@unf.edu

Compliance

Compliance and "good faith" are important to protect oneself, the University, students, and any subsequent use by students and colleagues. Compliance is a personal responsibility. Infringement choices and actions can implicate codefendants. By treaties and agreements, copyrights are generally honored and enforced internationally.

For specific questions about copyright compliance please contact the UNF General Counsel directly.

Copyright

The Fair Use provision of the copyright law makes it possible for educators and others to use copyrighted material without permission of the copyright owner, under certain conditions. However, Fair Use does not mean any copyrighted work is “fair game” for educators.  Nor does it mean that all educational uses are fair use.

Fair Use is a legal copyright concept, but is not clearly defined for practical use and is subject to interpretation within the context of other provisions of the copyright law. As a user, your idea of fair use may not be the same as the copyright owner's, so exercise caution. There are guideline documents which attempt to interpret the Fair Use provisions of the Copyright Law. Since none is universally acceptable to all parties, choose and use such documents with care and respect, keep documentation, and use the provisions consistently. Permission (in writing) is the safest implementation of fair use, but be sure you contact the copyright owner (often the publisher, not necessarily the author). You can often gain permission without cost or restriction (for educational use) by contacting the copyright owner directly and personally. Otherwise, there are fee-based permission services and agents available. In all instances, make and keep written documentation.

Fair use is determined by four factors set forth in the statute:

  1. The purpose of the use
  2. The nature of the work used
  3. The amount and substantiality of the work used, and
  4. The effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the work used.

Copyright Law is a legal protection provided to creators of intellectual property to control the use of their works.  Under U.S. Code, Title 17. Sec 107 – 122, the copyright owner has exclusive rights of reproduction, distribution, derivation, performance and display of their creative works and the authority to enforce those rights through legal means when such rights are infringed upon by others.

This information is provided for those in the University community seeking both to observe copyright restrictions, seek permissions to use copyrighted works, and to obtain copyright protections for their own work. The head of the UNF Library Access Services Department can provide information (no legal opinions) concerning the copyright processes and procedures as they apply to library print materials, interlibrary loans, course reserves, and distance learning. The UNF Office of the General Counsel is the repository and source for all UNF copyright policies. For opinions, help in defining "fair use", or other interpretations of copyright law, please contact your personal attorney.

Copyright infringement is the act of exercising, without permission or legal authority, one or more of the exclusive rights granted to the copyright owner under section 106 of the Copyright Act (Title 17 of the United States Code). These rights include the right to reproduce or distribute a copyrighted work in the file-sharing context, downloading or uploading substantial parts of a copyrighted work without authority constitutes an infringement.

Copyright infringement is the act of exercising, without permission or legal authority, one or more of the exclusive rights granted to the copyright owner under section 106 of the Copyright Act (Title 17 of the United States Code). These rights include the right to reproduce or distribute a copyrighted work in the file-sharing context, downloading or uploading substantial parts of a copyrighted work without authority constitutes an infringement.

Penalties for copyright infringement include civil and criminal penalties. In general, anyone found liable for the civil copyright infringement may be ordered to pay either actual damages or "statutory" damages affixed at not less than $750 and not more than $30,000 per work infringed.  For "willful" infringement, a court may award up to $150,000 per work infringed.  A court can, in its discretion, also asses costs and attorneys' fees. For details, see Title 17, United States Code, Sections 504, 505.

Wilful copyright infringement can also result in criminal penalties, including imprisonment of up to five years and fines of up to $250,000 per offense.  For more information, please see the website of the U.S. Copyright office at www.copyright.gov.

 

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