Policy: Butler University Copyright
Dept. Responsible: Irwin Library
Effective Date: December 2, 2011
Revised Date: 10.11.11
This policy is not intended to act as a substitute for legal
advice, and proper legal advice should be obtained when
The purpose of the Butler University Copyright Policy is to
provide a summary of United States copyright laws as they relate to
the use of copyright protected materials in an educational setting.
All Butler University faculty, staff, and students are expected to
act as responsible users of the copyrighted works of others, which
includes making informed, good faith decisions that comply with
copyright law. When permission to use copyright protected material
is required, that permission must be obtained prior to use of the
materials. Infringement of another person's copyright is a
violation of federal law. The legal ramifications of infringement
include fines that range from $200 to $150,000 per infringement.
Every student, faculty member, and employee of the University is
expected to comply with this policy. For additional help with
copyright, please see the Copyright LibGuide at: http://libguides.butler.edu/copyright.
Copyright law protects the expression of an idea; it does not
protect ideas, data, or facts. Copyright is a form of legal
protection for authors of original works, including dramatic,
musical, artistic, literary, and other intellectual products.
Copyright gives authors a set of exclusive legal rights for a
limited period of time. Under current law, the author's rights
begin automatically when a work is created. Copyrighted works are
not limited to those that bear a copyright notice (e.g. ©) or to
those that are registered. Copyright is automatic and arises upon
the creation of a given work. These rights prohibit others from,
among other things, using the works without permission or profiting
from the sale or performance of these works. Section 106 of the
Copyright Act generally gives the owner of copyright the exclusive
right to do and to authorize others to do the following:
- Reproduce copies of the original work.
- Prepare derivative works based on the original copyrighted
- Distribute copies of the work by rental, lease, sale, or
- Publicly perform the work.
- Publicly display the work.
However, the rights are not absolute. They are subject to "fair
use" limitations addressed below.
Copyright applies to any format that is fixed and tangible.
Typical formats may include:
- Printed words
- Video tape
- DVDs and CDs
- Computer files-both audio and video
- Photographs-both print and electronic
The provision for "fair use" of a copyright protected work is
found in the Copyright Act at Section 107. Under the "fair use"
provision, a reproduction of someone else's copyright-protected
work may be considered non-infringing if it is used for criticism,
comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship or research. If the
reproduction is for one of these purposes, then a determination of
"fair use" will be guided by consideration of four non-exclusive
- The purpose and character of use (principally, whether for
commercial or nonprofit educational use);
- The nature of the copyright-protected work;
- The amount and substantiality of the portion used; and
- The effect of the contemplated use on the potential market for
or value of the copyright-protected work.
The difference between "fair use" and "infringement" of a
copyright-protected work is not easy to determine. The burden of
establishing a "fair use" is on the user and requires a very
circumstance-specific analysis of the intended use or reuse of a
work. Here are three examples that illustrate this challenge:
Likely Fair Use
Gray Area - Opinions May Vary
Likely a Violation of Copyright
Scanning three pages of a 120 page book and posting it to
Blackboard for one semester.
Scanning seven pages of a 120 page book and posting it
Blackboard for one semester.
Scanning an entire book and posting it to Blackboard.
If the scanned pages are not the "core" of the work in question,
a favorable argument for "fair use" exists.
The amount exceeds established standards for acceptable amounts
by one page (i.e. greater than 5%). However, courts are not bound
by established standards and the Copyright Act contains no such
standards. Opinions will vary.
Scanning an entire book clearly weighs against a finding of
"fair use" as the entire work is used.
Copyright Provisions for Higher Education
The Copyright Act contains specific exceptions for the use of
copyright-protected materials by academic institutions. These
- Section 107 on fair use, which is discussed above.
- Section 108 on reproduction by libraries and archives, which
applies to activities such as archiving; replacing lost, damaged or
obsolete copies, patron requests for entire works, and interlibrary
- Section 109 on first sale, which permits the resale or lending
of copies of works, providing the basis for library lending and the
sale of used books.
- Section 110 on the use of materials in an educational setting,
which permits certain types of content use in the classroom. Common
examples include the use of legally acquired DVDs and CDs in a
classroom. The use should be instructional and not for
entertainment or reward.
Help With Copyright
- The Copyright FAQ: http://copyright.butler.edu.
- The Copyright & Intellectual Property Libguide: http://libguides.butler.edu/copyright
- Position Vacant - Butler University Libraries' Copyright
Manager. The Copyright Manager does not provide legal advice or
enforce copyright compliance. The Copyright Manager oversees all
activities that pertain to copyright as it pertains to interlibrary
loan and course reserves. In addition, the Copyright Manager serves
as an educational resource to students, faculty, and staff
concerning copyright issues.
- With the copyright manager position currently vacant, Sally
Neal (9940 or email@example.com), Associate Dean for Public
Services, can provide information resources and guidance for
following copyright best practices.
- Josh Petrusa (9236 or firstname.lastname@example.org) - Associate Dean of
Technical Services. The Associate Dean of Technical Services is
responsible for all library-related database licensing
- Joe Indiano (8063 or email@example.com) - Sr. Director of
Network & Systems. Mr. Indiano is responsible for oversight and
compliance of Butler University's Computer Use Policy.
- Legal counsel - The university can, when warranted, consult
with legal counsel for advice concerning copyright-related
Related Campus Policies
Living Document Statement
This policy is a living document and must remain adaptable to
respond to new developments in copyright law. Butler University
will keep this policy under review and modify when necessary.