Copyright Policy

- Intellectual Property Rights
- Dowling College Copyright Guidelines
- Agreement On Guidelines For Classroom Copying In Not-For-Profit Educational Institutions With Respect To Books And Periodicals
- Photocopy Guidelines

Intellectual Property Rights

Since the College may be legally responsible for the violation of intellectual property rights occurring on its premises, any employee or student who engages in conduct which directly or indirectly violates or infringes upon licensing agreements, copyright, or trademark laws, will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal from the College and legal prosecution.

Dowling College Copyright Guidelines

It is the intent of Dowling College that all members of the College's population adhere to the provisions of the United States Copyright Law of 1976 (Title 17, U.S. Code). Frequently asked questions, relevant to the photocopying of materials, are included to provide guidance in interpreting fair use.

Fair Use
The doctrine of "fair use" of a copyrighted work addresses the needs of scholars, teachers, and researchers, and applies to all media. Fair use (Section 107 of copyright law) is an attempt to balance an author's copyright protection in creating intellectual works against the public interest in the dissemination of those works. To determine whether the use made of a work is fair use, the law defines four factors to consider:
  • The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
  • The nature of the copyrighted work;
  • The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
  • The effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.
All four factors must be examined, weighed, and balanced. Those who willfully disregard the doctrine of "fair use" do so at their own risk and assume all liability.

There is both civil and criminal liability for infringement of the rights of a copyright owner. An infringer may be sued for either actual or statutory damages and, in addition, may be prosecuted for criminal violations. It is important to understand that the court need not find a willful infringement (that the infringer intended to infringe) in order to award damages.

Printed Materials
The fair use doctrine permits under certain conditions the copying of copyrighted material. In an attempt to clarify interpretation of fair use, Congress endorsed the following guidelines, which state the minimum standards of educational fair use for photocopying printed materials:

Agreement On Guidelines For Classroom Copying In Not-For-Profit Educational Institutions With Respect To Books And Periodicals

  • Single Copying for Teachers
    A single copy may be made of any of the following by or for a teacher at his or her individual request for his or her scholarly research or use teaching or preparation to teach a class:
    • A chapter from a book;
    • An article from a periodical or newspaper;
    • A short story, short essay or short poem, whether or not from a collective work;
    • A chart, graph, diagram, cartoon, or picture from a book, periodical, or newspaper;
  • Multiple Copies for Classroom Use
    Multiple copies (not to exceed in any event more than one copy per pupil in a course) may be made by or for the teacher giving the course for classroom use or discussion; provided that:
    • The copying meets the tests of brevity and spontaneity as defined below; and,
    • Meets the cumulative effect test as defined below; and,
    • Each copy includes a notice of copyright.
      1. Poetry: (a) A complete poem if less than 250 words and if printed on not more than two pages or, (b) from a longer poem, an excerpt of not more than 250 words.
      2. Prose: (a) Either a complete article, story, or essay of less than 2,500 words, or (b) an excerpt from any prose work of not more than 1,000 words or 10% of the work, whichever is less, but in any event a minimum of 500 words.
        [Each of the numerical limits stated in "i" and "ii" above may be expanded to permit the completion of an unfinished line of a poem or of an unfinished prose paragraph.]
      3. Illustration: One chart, graph, diagram, drawing, cartoon, or picture per book or per periodical issue.
      4. "Special" works: Certain works in poetry, prose, or in "poetic prose" which often combine language with illustrations and which are intended sometimes for children and at other times for a more general audience fall short of 2,500 words in their entirety. Paragraph "ii" above notwithstanding, such "special works" may not be reproduced in their entirety; however, an excerpt comprising not more than two of the published pages of such special work and containing not more than 10% of the words found in the text thereof, may be reproduced.
      1. The copying is at the instance and inspiration of the individual teacher, and
      2. The inspiration and decision to use the work and the moment of its use or maximum teaching effectiveness are so close in time that it would be unreasonable to expect a timely reply to a request for permission.
        Cumulative Effect:
      1. The copying of the material is for only one course in the school in which the copies are made.
      2. Not more than one short poem, article, story, essay, or two excerpts may be copied from the same author, nor more than three from the same collective work of periodical volume during one class term.
      3. There shall not be more than nine instances of such multiple copying for one course during one class term.
        [The limitations stated in "ii" above shall not apply to current news periodicals and newspapers and current news sections of other periodicals.]
  • Prohibitions as to I and II Above
    Notwithstanding any of the above, the following shall be prohibited:
    • Copying shall not be used to create or to replace or substitute for anthologies, compilations, or collective works. Such replacement or substitution may occur whether copies of various works or excerpts therefrom are accumulated or reproduced and used separately.
    • There shall be no copying of or from works intended to be "consumable" in the course of study or of teaching. These include workbooks, exercises, standardized tests and test booklets, and answer sheets and like consumable material.
    • Copying shall not:
      1. substitute for the purchase of books, publishers' reprints or periodicals;
      2. be directed by higher authority;
      3. be repeated with respect to the same item by the same teacher from term to term;
      4. NO CHARGE shall be made to the student beyond the actual cost of the photocopying.
These guidelines are outlined and discussed further in "Circular 21: Reproduction of Copyrighted Works by Educators and Librarians."  PDF

Photocopy Guidelines

Copy Centers
The copyright law applies to all forms of photocopying, whether it is undertaken at a commercial copy center, at Dowling College's copy center, or at a self-serve photocopy machine.

Every article or chapter assembled into a "course packet," if derived from copyrighted material, requires either permission from the copyright owner or payment of a fee. The Dowling College Bookstore provides this service. Requests must be submitted at least 4-6 weeks before the term begins. Providing complete, accurate information to the copyright owner will facilitate the request. Each item in the packet must also include a copy of the original notice of copyright that applies to the material.

Display of Warning of Copyright
The following "Copyright Notice' should be placed on or near all Dowling College reproduction equipment:


"The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. The person using this equipment is liable for any infringement."

Frequently Asked Questions About Copyright
  • May an instructor make photocopies of a journal article for each student in the class?
    The Guidelines for Classroom Copying in Not-for-Profit Educational Institutions with Respect to Books and Periodicals permit the distribution of one copy per student without getting permission from the copyright owner, if the copying meets the test of brevity, spontaneity, and cumulative effect. If the instructor wishes to use the same article over multiple semesters, or the copying exceeds fair use, permission should be requested from the copyright owner.

  • May an instructor regularly make photocopies of current topic news articles for each student in the class?
    Yes. The cumulative effect in the Guidelines does not apply to current newspaper and news sections of other periodicals.

  • May an instructor compile several photocopied articles or book chapters into an anthology or course packet for each student?
    Not without obtaining permission from the copyright owner of each article or chapter. The Guidelines prohibit copying that creates, replaces, or substitutes for anthologies, compilations or collective works.

  • May an instructor place a book or photocopied articles on library reserve instead of providing a copy for each student?
    Yes, but only for one semester without copyright permissions. If the item had previously been on reserve, it would require copyright permissions before being put on reserve again

  • May an instructor photocopy articles (for class handouts or for library reserve) for a course taught during the fall semester, and again in the spring?
    The instructor may do so in the fall, but in order to reuse the articles, he or she must seek permissions from the copyright owner. The Guidelines prohibit copying that is repeated to the same item by the same instructor from term to term.

  • May an instructor include photocopies of several diagrams and illustrations from published works in a self-authored lab handout distributed to each student?
    The Guidelines permit copying one chart, graph, diagram, drawing, cartoon, or picture per book or per periodical issue, if the copying meets the tests of brevity, spontaneity, and cumulative effect. If the number of diagrams and illustrations exceeds fair use, permission from the copyright owner would be necessary.

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