Copyright Policy

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It is the policy of Goucher College to comply with the United States Copyright Law of 1976, as amended (Title 17, United States Code). Thus, all faculty, staff, and students of Goucher College are required to respect the proprietary rights of owners of copyrights and refrain from actions that infringe the rights of copyright owners.

The Goucher College Copyright Guidelines and Copyright Compliance Checklist were developed to assist members of the Goucher community in complying with federal copyright law and to enable them to distinguish between permitted and prohibited uses of copyrighted materials. Members of the Goucher College community are expected to familiarize themselves with these documents and to comply conscientiously with their requirements. The guidelines contain extensive information about copyright law as well as directions to resources on campus that will assist members of the community in complying with this policy and the law.

All departments are responsible for posting notices reflecting this policy at all photocopying stations that may be used for reproducing copyrighted materials (e.g., those in the library and in departmental copy rooms) and at or near all computer stations. View the policy for notices.

The penalties for violation of United States copyright law can be severe. Employees and students who willfully disregard copyright law place themselves at risk of civil and criminal legal action. Individuals who engage in infringing activities also place the college at risk of legal action. The college will defend any faculty or staff member against a civil action alleging copyright infringement:

  • where the use is in accordance with the provisions of a valid software or database license agreement;
  • where the use is within the Safe Harbor rules as detailed in these guidelines;
  • where the permission of the copyright owner has been obtained; or
  • where the Fair Use Committee has assisted in determining that the use was permissible.

Otherwise, the faculty or staff member will be personally responsible for the defense of a civil action for copyright infringement. Students who are sued for copyright infringement are generally not entitled to a defense provided by the college. In addition, members of the college community who willfully violate this Policy are subject to disciplinary action by the college up to and including termination, consistent with established college procedures.


April 2024