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Provides basic information about copyright, fair use, the public domain, and offers links to websites to learn more about copyright issues.

Copyright quick tips for Faculty

Currently, the library does not have a specific copyright policy.  Because copyright is rather complex, it is not easy nor may it be wise to develop one resource or policy that will address all situations.

When using copyrighted materials or materials whose copyright status you are unsure of, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What is the format, my intended use of the format, and the amount that I wish to use?
  2. If the source is multimedia (i.e. DVD or CD) might I be better served by showing the work in class or placing it on reserve in the library?  
  3. Will the amounts permitted in Section 107 (fair use) meet my needs? 
  4. If not, will the limits outlined in Section 110 meet my needs? (allows for classroom showing of legally acquired multimedia) 
  5. If the previous amounts are too restrictive, should I contact the publisher directly and request permission to use the material?

Once you have identified the materials you want to use and determined that copyright permission is required, you must identify the copyright holder and secure permission to use their work. 

You can find an explanation of the steps for securing permission for copyrighted works can be found on Columbia University’s Copyright Advisory Office website: This site offers assistance in obtaining permission for many different types of materials. The site also provides several permission request templates that faculty can use when seeking permission from copyright right holders.


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