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Copyright Essentials

Faculty Copyright (Appendix to Faculty Handbook)

Faculty publications

Faculty and administrators are responsible for obtaining permission to include copyrighted works (images, poems, letters, short stories) in their publications.  


Students hold the copyright of the work they create for their courses.  Programs requiring a thesis may require that the institution be granted the license/right to either make a set number of print copies and/or to distribute an electronic version of a thesis in an online archive.  A student may not be required to sign over copyright of a thesis to the institution. They can choose to do so, but cannot be required.

Consult the program director regarding College requirements for theses.

See the "Permissions" tab for more information on student work and theses.

Course Reserves (and Canvas): permission required

Professors should link to copyrighted works in Canvas rather than placing copyrighted work in canvas. The way to do this is

1) through requests for course reserves. The library gets permission, and pays fee, if needed and necessary, and then

2) by placing a link to your library course reserve "page" into canvas or into your syllabus document, or both. For example, view this.

The following materials require copyright permission before being placed on electronic reserve in the Library course reserves system. Librarian Lisa Chaudhuri, 445-4681 (, will obtain permission on behalf of professors and mount the work in course reserves that you can then link to from within canvas. Take caution, if you are mounting material yourself directly into Canvas, you must make a fair use assessment to determine if you need to seek permission from copyright holders yourself or you may be in violation of copyright and personably liable.

Restrictions apply to the following (unless they are in the public domain):

  • Selections from books and anthologies
    • Poetry: A complete poem or excerpt of 250 words or more
    • Prose: (a) Either a complete article, story or essay of 2,500 words or more; or (b) an excerpt from any prose work of 1,000 words or more, or 10% of the work, whichever is more
  • An article from a journal that we do not subscribe to, nor have a legally obtained copy
  • Links to e-version of a journal article for which Library has no license to distribute e-version, e.g. publications in Lexis-Nexis.
  • More than one article from a single journal issue
  • More than one chapter from a single book, unless it is under 10% of the work.
  • Consumable items such as workbooks, exercises, standardized tests
  • A personal copy of a book for a second semester

Policies, charts, checklists

Faculty that follow the policies and best practices set forth on this site will be protected by the College from liability when legal action regarding copyright infringement is brought by a copyright holder. Faculty are legally liable when they fail to follow College policies, guidelines and best practices.

Public Performance Rights

Regarding the public showing of films on campus, the sponsoring program or club must obtain permission and pay whatever fee the copyright holder charges. See the guide below about obtaining the right to show a film publicly.

To advertise a showing of a feature film to the campus community constitutes a public performance that requires permission, regardless to whether admission is charged.

A group viewing when it is a face-to-face teaching situation requires that the showing take place in a classroom or Library room with an instructor present.  These constitute a fair use of a copyrighted dvd whether the film is a documentary or a feature film.  These are not public performance. 

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