Albion College Copyright Handbook

Albion College Copyright Handbook

Welcome to the Albion College Copyright Handbook! The handbook is several pages long and separated into articles, so if you don’t see what you’re looking for on the first page, please scroll to the bottom or click a link to continue through the handbook. If you have further questions after reading this document, please contact Allie Moore, the College Copyright Officer, at


Chapters on this page:

Compliance with the Digital Copyright Millenium Act

As an Online Service Provider (OSP), Albion College is required by the Digital Copyright Millennium Act of 1998 to establish limitation of liability for copyright infringement by:

  • designating an agent to receive statutory notices from copyright owners about infringements and to send statutory notices to affected subscribers;
  • advising the Copyright Office of the agent’s name and address and posting that information on the OSP’s website;
  • developing and posting a policy for termination of repeat offenders and providing network users with information about copyright laws;
  • complying with “take down” and “put back” notice requirements;
  • ensuring that the system accommodates industry-standard technical measures used by owners to protect their works from unlawful access and copyright infringement.

As an OSP, Albion College has limited liability for copyright infringement by third parties, which may include faculty under some circumstances. Limitation of liability applies to the college as an institution, not to individuals. The Act determines that the knowledge or actions of a faculty member will not be attributed to the institution when all of the following conditions are met:

  • the faculty member’s infringing activities do not involve providing online access to course materials that were required or recommended during the past three years;
  • the institution has not received more than two notifications over the past three years that the faculty member was infringing;
  • the institution provides all of its users with information describing and promoting compliance with copyright law.

The statutory rules do not require the College actively to monitor material on the Internet. The limitation requires an OSP to take action when it has “actual knowledge” of an infringement (by facts brought to its attention or by notice from the copyright owner), but it does not impose the burden on the OSP to monitor or discover infringing behavior. The law also gives immunity from third party user claims, provided there is good faith compliance with the statutory rules.

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Purpose of This Handbook

This handbook of information, guidelines and procedures has been compiled as a reference guide for Albion College faculty, staff and administrators to help answer everyday questions about the use and reproduction of copyrighted materials and to provide information about College policy regarding the reproduction of copyrighted materials in various formats. It has been developed to guide faculty and staff by setting out their rights to copy and distribute material under fair use guidelines, specifying the exemptions granted to educators, and clarifying the responsibilities of faculty and staff for understanding the restrictions on copying and the need to obtain permissions.

In light of the many questions which are arising with the proliferation of information in electronic form, we urge all members of the community to familiarize themselves with this handbook. It is far too brief to encompass the law, and it should not be used as a substitute for sound legal advice, but it provides a brief summary of the points most likely to concern faculty and staff at Albion College.

Much of the text of this handbook is taken with permission from Bucknell University, Mercer University and the Copyright Sampler, and from copyright legislation and legislative guidelines. Some of the text has been adapted from policies and guidelines such as The Association of Research Libraries’ Briefing Paper on Copyright and the American Library Association’s Model Policy Concerning College and University Photocopying. These documents address copyright issues of interest to institutions of higher education with a clear and balanced approach.

Copyright exists for three basic reasons:

  1. to reward authors for their original works;
  2. to encourage availability of the works to the public; and
  3. to facilitate access and use of copyrighted works by the public in certain circumstances.

The copyright statute balances the creator’s interests against the public interest in the dissemination of information and ideas. As educators, we must maintain the fair and proper balance between owners’ rights and public rights that copyright law is intended to embody.

The first copyright law was enacted in 1790, and four major revisions have followed. The 1976 revision of the 1909 law has itself has been substantially amended in 1998 by the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act and the Digital Copyright Millennium Act, which attempts to address technological advances. Copyright law is constantly changing, so be aware that details in this handbook could quickly become outdated.

Further information, including the full text of the laws, is available in the Albion College Library together with numerous other materials which provide more specificity. Routine inquiries may be channeled through the Library Director, Information Technology, Campus Programs & Organizations or the Dean of Students, the Vice-President & Dean of Faculty, the Music and Theater Departments, and the bookstore. Complex questions will be referred to College Counsel.

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Copyright Policy of Albion College

In the context of higher education, there are many circumstances in which such uses of copyrighted material as duplication, distribution of copies, public display or performance, and preparation of derivative works, are perfectly appropriate. However, as we exercise our rights to fair use as individual members of the public, or as educators using materials in the classroom, we need to be sure that we are not violating the rights of authors and/or distributors or the privacy rights of individuals.

Members of the Albion College community are prohibited from using copyrighted works in any way that is not authorized by:

  1. specific exemptions in the copyright law,
  2. fair-use guidelines, including those specifically granted to educators in classroom settings, or
  3. licenses or written permission from the copyright owner

Faculty and staff are reminded that it is unlawful for staff members (e.g., secretarial staff and student assistants) to copy material for which necessary written permission to copy has not been obtained. Both the individual requesting such services and the individual performing them may be liable for copyright infringement.

Members of the Albion College community who willfully disregard the institution’s Copyright Policy do so at their own risk and assume all liability, including the possibility of disciplinary actions for copyright infringement.

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