Tuesday, September 30, 2014


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Warning Regarding Copyright Restrictions

Lincoln Land Community College Library complies with the United States Copyright Act of 1976 (Title 17, U.S. Code).  The Copyright Act offers copyright holders legal protection of their entitlement to the reproduction and distribution of copyrighted material and governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material.

The law has established certain limitations on the exclusive rights of the copyright holder and affords libraries and archives the authorization to make photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material within the bounds that the law specifies.  Legal reproduction of copyrighted works dictates that the material is used solely for personal use and for the following endeavors:  “criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research.” 

If an individual uses copyrighted material for any other purpose, or further reproduces and/or distributes material beyond the bounds of what is considered “fair use” that individual may be liable for copyright infringement.  The same limitations apply to copyright-protected material when that material exists in electronic format.

Copyright Compliance Policy

Lincoln Land Community College Library complies with the United States Copyright Act of 1976 (Title 17, U.S. Code).  The Copyright Act offers copyright holders legal protection of their entitlement to the reproduction and distribution of copyrighted material.  The scope of this policy extends to each sector of the college community including faculty, adjunct faculty, students, staff, and occupants of the LLCC district that utilize college resources.  The following policy is established as a guide to the various amendments to the U.S. Copyright Act, and describes the limitations on the exclusive rights afforded to non-profit, academic institutions.  This policy should serve as a quick reference guide and in no way substitutes for a careful reading of the Copyright Act.

Copyright Compliance Basics

Please contact Library Staff if you have general or specific questions or concerns regarding copyright compliance. Library staff will request permission for use of copyrighted material on the behalf of faculty and staff. The Department seeking permission to use copyrighted material will be responsible for any applicable fees.

Contact Amanda Logsdon
Library Access Services Specialist

amanda.logsdon@llcc.edu or (217) 786-2475

In order to guarantee copyright compliance, each separate use of any copyrighted work must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Below are some basic guidelines that should help inform decisions regarding the use of copyrighted materials.

When using copyright-protected works, seeking permission from the rights holder is always the most reliable method to ensure compliance with copyright law.

When using copyright-protected works, it is important that electronic access to the documents meet the following criteria:

  1. The document is Password protected: Only students that are enrolled in a particular course will have access to materials. Using the E-Reserve Button that appears in each Blackboard Module allows appropriate and sufficient password protection.
  2. Display the copyright notice for the document and provide the appropriate citation information for the source used.
Fair Use

Since the enactment of the U.S. Copyright Act, a series of court decisions demonstrated the necessity for limitations on the exclusive rights of the copyright holder, which resulted in the addition of Section 107.  This section codifies the doctrine of Fair Use, which establishes limitations based on the purpose and character of the use of copyrighted material. 

Fair Use limitations justify the legal reproduction of copyrighted works for purposes such as “criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research,” and apply directly to nonprofit, academic institutions.  Section 107 suggests that each case is determined by weighing each of the following four factors. 

1.       Purpose of use
2.       Nature of the work
3.       Substantiality of the work that is used
4.       Effect on the potential market value of the work


Public Domain Guidelines

Use the link below to access guidelines for determining when a work passes into the Public Domain. A public domain work is a creative work that is not protected by copyright and which may be freely used by everyone. 

Public Domain Guidelines Chart

Teach (Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization) Act (2002)

The TEACH Act, Section 110 (2), of the Copyright Act provides a distinct set of exemptions to the Copyright Act, and expands the rights of educators that teach in a digital environment.  The TEACH Act attempts to close the disparity between the rights  educators benefit from when teaching a traditional course in a classroom setting and when teaching by means of distance education. 

  • TEACH exemptions apply to the performance or display of materials (non-dramatic, literary or musical works or performance of other works including dramatic works in reasonable and limited portions) through organized, instructional activities, when the use is an integral part of the classroom experience.  Supplementary use does not fall within the scope of the TEACH Act.

  • The limitations on exclusive rights can apply to any work, provided that only reasonable and limited portions are used, with the following exceptions:

    • Materials developed and marketed specifically for the distance education market.
    • Illegal copies
    • Materials traditionally purchased by the student, including textbooks, course packs, and workbooks.
    • The material must be used as part of regular classroom activities, analogous to the performance or display that would occur in a traditional classroom setting. 
    • The Instructor of the course must direct or supervise the use of the material.
    • Access to the material must be limited to “enrolled” participants in the course, for only the duration that is necessary, or for the duration of a “class session” which is established at the discretion of the instructor.
    • Allows students to access material from any location. 
    • Allows the digitization of analog works, provided that the work does not already exist in digital format.
    • The TEACH Act allows instructors to retain a digital copy of the embedded copyrighted materials, which can be used repeatedly and stored for transmission at a later time. 
    • LLCC must provide a general copyright notice or warning prior to the access copyright protected electronic materials.

As an accredited institution, LLCC has established and disseminated this policy to facilitate compliance and prevent copyright infringement.  LLCC takes appropriate and reasonable technological measures to prevent the unlawful access, retention, and distribution of copyright-protected materials.

Digital Millennium Copyright (DMCA) Act (1998)

In general, the DMCA criminalizes the circumvention of the anti-piracy measures that are built into most commercial software and other digital technology in an attempt to protect copyrighted works in a digital format.  However, the DMCA establishes limitations or exemptions that apply to LLCC regarding the use and transmission of digital technology.  Specifically, the DMCA affords LLCC the following exemptions:

  • Grants nonprofit libraries, archives, and educational institutions exemptions from anti-circumvention provisions under certain circumstances.
  • The DMCA releases internet providers from liability of copyright infringement for the transmission of information over the internet.  Internet Service Providers must remove material from the user’s site if it is found to be in violation of copyright code.
  • The DMCA limits the liability of nonprofit, academic institutions when the institution operates in the role of the online service provider under certain circumstances.  (This applies to possible infringement by faculty members.
  • Establishes an amendment to promote the maintenance and development of digital libraries.  Libraries are permitted to digitize analog materials without permission for archival purposes (for storage and retrieval) provided that access to the material is available onsite only.   
  • Allows the transmission of digitized material from library to library when in analog format.  The copy must include either the copyright notice originally on the work, or the library must instead supply a notice with the copy.
  • Libraries and academic institutions are allowed to create compilations of audiovisual works for use in the classroom within certain restrictions outlined below.
  • Libraries and archives may create copies of computer programs and video games that have become obsolete when it is for the purpose of preservation.
  • The DMCA also extended the terms of copyright protection for an additional twenty years.  However, libraries may make copies during this extension period for the purpose of scholarship, preservation, or research if a copy of the work is not available at a reasonable price and as long as the act of copying the work does not affect the market value of the item. 
Seeking Permission from Copyright Holder

Each of the previously discussed limitations has separate and distinct applications; it is essential to accurately identify which, if any, of the exemptions is applicable.  Although copyright law allows the aforementioned limitations, at times it is necessary to seek permission for use of the material from the copyright holder.  If the owner of the copyright grants permission, all possibility of infringement is eliminated. 

Please contact Library Staff if you have questions or concerns regarding copyright compliance.  Library staff will also request permission for use of copyrighted material on the behalf of faculty and staff.  The Department seeking permission to use copyrighted material will be responsible for any applicable fees.


It is permissible to exhibit a rented film in class as long as it is part of your scheduled course work.  Exhibiting films become problematic if you show a film that is not a part of the course work, such as showing a film to “reward” your class, or, if in your absence, the substitute shows a film that has not been scheduled.  It is also advisable to ask either the library or your department to purchase the film if you intend to use it every time you teach the course.  By law, Fair Use requires that the instructor be present in the classroom during exhibition of any copyrighted material.

You, as an individual, may not tape a program or film off the air waves and exhibit it for your class.  You must ask the Audio Visual Department or the library to tape the program or film for you.  The item can be shown in its entirety one time in your class, and portions of it may be reviewed one additional time to help reinforce learning outcomes.  However, in any case the item must be destroyed after 45 school days (that is, days when school is in session).  The same rules apply to cable broadcasts, and the taping must be done at the institution.  

It is legal to show a personal copy of a film after an extensive search has found that the film is no longer available at a reasonable price.  It is allowable to change formats for such an item.  For example, a film can be transferred to digital format if an extensive search reveals that the film is not available, and is not likely to be available soon in a digital format.  Films can also be digitized for archival purposes.

An instructor is allowed to make a compilation disc as longs as the total portion of the excerpted material does not exceed 10% or 3 minutes (whichever is the shortest) of the original item, and does not include a key part or climactic portion of the original item.

News programs can be taped by a non-profit institution and kept in perpetuity for research purposes.

It is perfectly legal for an instructor to exhibit his or her personal copy or any copy of a film as a substitute for the school’s copy if it is damaged, missing, or simply unavailable and efforts to replace the item have not been successful.

It is perfectly legal for a student to use a portion of a copyrighted item in his or her class project.  However, the student and the institution can be held liable if the student exhibits the project outside the classroom.

It is not permissible to exhibit copyrighted items for special events unless the institution owns public performance rights.  Fair Use does not specifically allow the exhibition of copyrighted material for special events even if there is a discussion group about the material either before, during, or after the exhibition.

Copyright law is interpreted by the courts.  Historically, the courts have allowed non-profit institutions to exhibit copyrighted material in a learning atmosphere as long as it does not adversely affect the market value of the material, is used for educational purposes, and a fee is not charged.  However, it is always advisable to seek permission from the copyright holder and maintain a copy of the request for your records.

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