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Additional Resoures

The links provided here are intended to provide you with basic information regarding your rights and responsibilities concerning copyright, Fair Use, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and the Teach Act.

Copyright Law

U.S. Copyright Office - Official website of the Library of Congress’ copyright office

Copyright Law of the United States  - Includes text of new copyright law and FAQ.

Pending Legislation

Digital Millennium Copyright Act - Summary (PDF File - 18 Pages)

Digital Millennium Copyright Act - 1998 (PDF File - 94 Pages) Public Law 105-304 (1998)

SEC. 403 - Limitations on Exclusive Rights; Distance Education

Distance Education and the TEACH Act

The "Technology, Education, and Copyright Harmonization Act" (the TEACH Act) defines the terms in which copyright protected materials may be used in distance education. Additional information can be found at: - Information on the TEACH Act from the American Library Association


The TEACH Act - straightforward information from Georgia Harper at the University of Texas.

Copyright Overviews

From Organizations
Know your Copy Rights - Association of Research Libraries (PDF Brochure)

Libraries as Creatures of Copyright: Why Librarians Care about Intellectual Property Law & Policy - American Library Association, Washington Office

From Universities
Copyright Advisory Office -Columbia University

Stanford Copyright and Fair Use - Stanford University Libraries

Copyright: The Law and Guidelines - University at Albany

Copyright Information and Education - University of Minnesota

Crash Course In Copyright - University of Texas

Copyright Guidance -Yale University

Copyright Permissions & Collective Licensing Agencies

Copyright Permission - Public Works
Free use of materials not protected by copyright is permitted for public works.  The following guidelines may be used to determine what constitutes a public work:

  1. Works that lack originality (e.g., phone books)
  2. Works in the public domain (no longer protected by copyright)
  3. Free ware (must be expressly stated)
  4. U.S. Government works
  5. Facts (e.g., Water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit)
  6. Ideas, processes, methods, and systems described in copyrighted work that is not otherwise protected by patents

Copyright Permission – Works in Public Domain
A public domain work is a creative work that is not protected by copyright and
which may be freely used by everyone. The presence or absence of a copyright notice is no longer significant when determining what a protected copyright is or a public work. Older works published without a notice may be in the public domain, but for works created after March 1, 1989, absence of a notice is non-determinative.
The reasons that the work is not protected include:
1.   The term of copyright for the work has expired;
2.   The author failed to satisfy statutory formalities to perfect the copyright or
3    The work is a work of the U.S. Government.

The following chart is helpful in distinguishing a work in the Public Domain:

When Works Pass Into The Public Domain, University of North Carolina, Dr. Laura Casaway

Copyright Permission – Direct from copyright owner
Written permission from the copyright owner is needed to copy materials in those situations when the proposed copying does not come within the doctrine of "fair use". Obtaining such permission is usually not difficult and, in most cases for classroom use, is granted with no royalty charge.  You may contact the author or publisher.

The Association of American Publishers suggests that the following information be included to expedite the process:
1) Title, author and/or editor, and edition of materials to be duplicated;
2) Exact material to be used, giving amount, page numbers, chapters and, if possible, a photocopy of the material;
3) Number of copies to be made;
4) Use to be made of duplicated materials (including time period or duration if copying on an on-going basis is desired);
5) Form of distribution (classroom, newsletter, etc.);
6) Whether or not the material is to be sold; and
7) Type of reprint (ditto, photocopy, offset, typeset).

Below are samples of permission letters:
Model Permission Letters -Columbia University
Sample Written Request -University of Texas

For help in locating the copyright owner:

Complex Searches - Columbia University

Locating Copyright Owners. List of organizations and web sites that assist the researcher to identify and locate copyright holders.

Collective Licensing Agencies
American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) licenses the right to perform songs and musical works created and owned by the songwriters, composers, lyricists and music publishers who are ASCAP members and also those members of foreign performing rights organizations who are represented by ASCAP in the United States.

Broadcast Music, Inc represents over 350,000 creators of music, the songwriters, composers and publishers of more than 6.5 million musical works.

Criterion Pictures USA, Inc. - a supplier of rental and licensed non-theatrical feature entertainment movies which are licensed for public performance in the United States.

Kino International Corp. - founded in 1977 as a theatrical distribution company specializing in classics and foreign language art films. Now known as Kino Lorber.

Milestone Film & Video – distributors of films of enduring artistry from both yesterday and today. Their collection ranges from the earliest days of the cinema, to the golden age of the silent films, to the postwar foreign film renaissance, to brand-new American independent features, documentaries and foreign films.

Motion Picture Licensing Corporation is an independent copyright licensing agency that provides the Umbrella License® to ensure copyright compliance for the public performance of motion pictures.

SESAC is a performing rights organization with headquarters in Nashville and offices in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Miami and London.

Swank Motion Pictures, Inc., founded in 1937, is the major non-theatrical movie distributor and public performance licensing agent in venues where feature movies are shown publicly.

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St. Johns River State College, an equal access institution, prohibits discrimination in its employment, programs, activities, policies and procedures based on race, sex, gender, gender identity, age, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, pregnancy, sexual orientation, marital status, genetic information or veteran status. Questions pertaining to education equity, equal access or equal opportunity should be addressed to the College Title IX Coordinator/Equity Officer: Charles Romer, Room A0173, 5001 St. Johns Avenue, Palatka, FL 32177; (386) 312-4074; Anonymous reporting is available at Inquiries/complaints can be filed with the Title IX Coordinator/Equity Officer online, in person, via mail, via email or with the US Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights, Atlanta Office, 61 Forsyth St. SW Suite 19T10, Atlanta, GA 30303-8927. | St. Johns River State College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate and baccalaureate degrees. Questions about the accreditation of St. Johns River State College may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097, by calling 404-679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website (