Copyright Compliance Checklist

To determine whether your proposed use of copyrighted material conforms to this policy, analyze the proposed use according to the following checklist:

1. Determine whether the work is in the public domain or whether it is protected by copyright. To determine the copyright status of a work, check these handy websites:

If the work is not protected by copyright, you may use it as you wish.

2. Determine whether the work is licensed by the college (e.g., an article from an electronic database licensed by the college). If so, determine whether your proposed use is permitted by the terms of the license. For example, you may be able to direct students to an electronic version of a journal article with a link, but not to download and copy the article and place it on reserve. If you need assistance in this process, contact the User Services Librarian. If the proposed use is permitted by the terms of the license, your analysis ends here.

3. Determine whether the proposed use falls within the Safe Harbor guidelines. If so, you can use the document as you propose.

4. If the proposed use goes beyond the Safe Harbor guidelines, you will have to apply the Fair Use Test. To receive assistance in determining whether the proposed use meets the fair use test, we strongly encourage you to contact the Fair Use Consultant ( Barbara Stob). If you choose not to consult the committee or to disregard the opinion of the committee, the college will not indemnify you in the event you are sued for copyright infringement.

5. If the proposed use involves a coursepack or print or digital reserve, ensure that you have complied with the requirements applicable to those documents.

  • Is it a coursepack?
  • Is it an item to be placed on print reserve in the library?
  • Is it an item to be placed in the electronic learning environment?
  • Consider whether it may be more efficient for you to direct your students to articles in an electronic database licensed by the college, rather than to create a coursepack.

6. If you need to request permission, you may ask for assistance from the Library or Bookstore or obtain the permission on your own.

7. If you wish to use a copyrighted work in your distance learning course, analyze the proposed use as you would for any other work. If your proposed use does not constitute Fair Use or fit within the Safe Harbor guidelines, you may still be able to use it. Contact the Fair Use Committee for assistance.

8. If you have any questions at any stage of the process, consult theUser Services Librarian,  the Information Technology Help Desk (for Canvas questions), or the Fair Use Committee (your inquiry will be directed to the committee by the Office of General Counsel).