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Use of Copyrighted Material

All College employees are expected to adhere scrupulously to Federal copyright laws as revised by Congress in 1976 through Public Law 94-553, effective January 1, 1978, and as subsequently amended. Our policy assumes respect for the rights of copyright holders, tempered by the recognition that the educational process dictates a flexible and good faith interpretation of the "fair use" doctrine.

Purpose/Reason for Policy: To provide administrative guidance on copyrighted works and ownership so that all Guilford College employees may comply with the appropriate copyright laws

Scope/Covered Persons: All Guilford College employees


Copyright: protection provided by the laws of the United States for "original works of authorship,” including literary, dramatic, musical, architectural, cartographic, choreographic, pantomimic, pictorial, graphic, sculptural, and audiovisual creations; the exclusive legal right to reproduce, publish, sell, or distribute original works.

Copyright Compliance Officer:  The individual registered with the US Copyright Office and designated by the College to receive notifications under the DMCA.  Guilford has designated the Director of Information and Technology Services as the Copyright Compliance Officer. 

Fair Use:  the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. 

The Policy:  

When copyrighted material is reproduced, by any means, College employees are expected to adhere scrupulously to federal copyright laws as revised by Congress in 1976 through Public Law 94-553, effective January 1, 1978, and as subsequently amended.

The College encourages its faculty who intend to use duplicated materials in the classroom to plan work sufficiently in advance so that permission from copyright owners may be secured. 

Under the Copyright Revision Act of 1976, the author's consent is required and royalties must be paid for the public performance of all musical compositions. The law applies to live performance by musicians as well as to the playing of phonographic records or tapes. However, certain limited exemptions were made in connection with the public performance of non-dramatic musical compositions, e.g., (1) face-to-face teaching activities in a classroom or similar place devoted to instruction, (2) instructional broadcasting, (3) religious services, (4) other performances where there is no admission charge and where performers or organizers are not paid. Another general exemption for some uses of music is that "fair use" of copyrighted material is not an infringement.

To comply with the provisions of the Copyright Revision Act as applicable to musical compositions, Guilford College, along with other colleges, has entered into licensing arrangements with the three organizations representing the copyright owners of music, paying a flat rate fee, based on full-time equivalent enrollment, for the general performance of musical compositions covered by copyright (e.g., dances, coffee houses, sports events, dormitory record parties charging a small admission fee, noncommercial radio broadcasting, etc.), and a special fee for large concerts, based on performer fees, admission prices and seating capacity. College faculty involved in the performance of musical works may secure additional information about the new copyright provisions from the Business Office.

The information and guidelines presented below are based on United States Copyright Law. Some materials of interest to the College community may be protected under the copyright regulations of other nations. This document does not address the copyright issues that arise in such circumstances; members of the College community who wish to make use of such materials are encouraged to seek more specialized guidance. Some of the material appearing below is taken from the US Copyright Office Web page at; US government publications are not subject to copyright protection.

Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) addresses the potential legal liability that the College could potentially face if any of its authorized users provide Internet access, using the College's facilities, to material that infringes on the copyrights of others. DMCA also provides an opportunity for online service providers, including institutions of higher education that provide Internet access, to shield themselves from liability for the actions of their subscribers that infringe on the copyrights of others. The law requires that the College implement stringent policies, identify a Copyright Compliance Officer, and respond in specified ways when evidence of infringing activity is brought to its attention or when it receives information that makes it apparent that infringing activity is occurring. The Director of Information Technology and Services (IT&S) is the College’s designated agent registered with the US Copyright Office (Copyright Compliance Officer) for the purpose of receiving notifications under the DMCA . See the Procedures section below for more detailed information.

Software Copyright: Most computer programs are not only protected by copyright; they are usually sold under a licensing agreement as well. Licensing agreements can restrict the use of the software to a single machine. While the copying of such programs, in whole or in part, is often necessary and frequently desirable, it is only legal to do so on the licensed machine, and then only if the copies are to be used solely on that machine. Copyrighted computer manuals of course, are protected under federal copyright laws, as described above.

It should be noted, especially in the case of personal computers, that not all machines on the Guilford campus are licensed to run all programs owned by the College. If there is any doubt about the terms of the licensing agreement for any of Guilford’s computer software, a faculty member should check with the Computer Services staff to see if the proposed use conforms to the software license.

Roles and Responsibilities: 

Library Professionals: 

  • Within any calendar year, a library may request from another library reproduction of not more than five copies of any article or articles published in a given copyrighted periodical during the five years prior to the date of the reproduction request, and not more than five copies of a small excerpt from a given larger copyrighted work, other than a periodical. The library supplying the copy for interlibrary loan purposes may not fulfill a copy request unless the request is accompanied by a representation of the requesting entity that it has been made in accordance with these guidelines, and the requesting entity must maintain records of all requests it has made for copies of material that comes within the guidelines. All such records must be retained at least until the end of the third complete calendar year after the end of the calendar year in which the request was made.

  • In addition, a library may make a copy of 
(1) An unpublished work for the purposes of preservation and security, 
(2)  A published work for the purposes of replacement of damaged copies if a replacement cannot be obtained at a fair price, and 
(3)An out-of-print work that cannot be obtained at a fair price.

  • Finally, at the request of the user, a library may make a copy from its collection of no more than one article or other contribution to a copyrighted collection or periodical collection, or a copy of a small part of any other copyrighted work, if the copy becomes the property of the user and the library has no notice that the copy will be used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship or research. The library must display prominently, at the place where copy orders are accepted, and include on its order form, the warning required by the Register of Copyrights as set forth at 37 C.F.R. S 201.12. Any reproduction by a library pursuant to any of these guidelines should include the statutory notice of copyright.

Teaching Faculty:

  • Under copyright laws, a teacher may make a single copy for use in scholarly research, in teaching, or in preparation for teaching a class, of a chapter from a book; an article from a periodical or newspaper; a short story, short essay or short poem whether or not from a collected work; a chart, graph, diagram, drawing, cartoon or picture from a book, periodical or newspaper.

  • Multiple copies, which are not to exceed one per pupil in a given course, must include a notice of copyright and must meet tests of brevity, spontaneity and cumulative effect. A teacher may make multiple copies, for classroom use only, of a complete poem, if it is shorter than 250 words and printed on not more than two pages; an excerpt from a longer poem, if it is shorter than 250 words; a complete article, story or essay, if it is shorter than 2,500 words; an excerpt from a prose work, if it is shorter than 1,000 words or ten percent of the work, whichever is less; one chart, graph, diagram, drawing, cartoon or picture per book or periodical; and excerpts from children's books no more than two pages in length, comprising no more than ten percent of the entire text. The copying must be at the instance and inspiration of the individual teacher.
  • However, a teacher may not make such multiple copies for class use if planning ahead for a course allows time for copyright clearance, nor may the same item be repeatedly duplicated by the same teacher from term to term. Moreover, a teacher may not make multiple copies of a work for classroom use if it has already been copied for another class in the same institution; make multiple copies of a short poem, article, story or essay from the same author more than once in a class term, or from the same collective work or periodical issue more than three times a term; make multiple copies of works more than nine times in a class term; make a copy of works to take the place of an anthology; or make a copy of "consumable" materials, such as workbooks.
  • Guilford College faculty involved in the performance of musical works may secure additional information about the new copyright provisions from the Business Office.

  • Guilford College faculty using computer software in their teaching or research should be aware of, and are expected to abide by, the licensing agreements and copyright laws pertaining to the programs and manuals which they use.

The Director of Information Technology and Services (IT&S): 

The Director of Information Technology and Services (IT&S) is the designated agent registered with the US Copyright Office for the purpose of receiving notifications under the DMCA (hereafter referred to as the Copyright Compliance Officer).  The Copyright Compliance Officer is responsible for handling all claims of copyright infringement.

Compliance: Violations of this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.  

Other related Policies, Regulations, Statutes and Documents: 

US Copyright Office Web page

Copyright Revision Act of 1976

Intellectual Property

Guidance to Guilford Faculty regarding copyrighted materials

Procedures: Letters to copyright holders requesting permission to duplicate must include exact and complete information, as follows:

  • Title, author and/or editor, and edition of materials to be duplicated;

  • Exact material to be used, giving amount, page numbers, chapters, and, if possible, a photograph of the material;

  • Number of copies to be made;

  • Use to be made of duplicated materials;

  • Form of distribution (classroom, newsletter, etc.);

  • Whether or not the material is to be sold; and

  • Type of reprint (ditto, photocopy, offset, typeset).

Approval Authority:  The President of Guilford College

Responsible Office:   Chuck Curry, Director of IT&S, Bauman 107A, 336-316-2426,, 

Revision History: Updated in the Employee Handbook revision of 2018

, combined with 2018 Faculty Handbook provisions