Salem College Copyright Policy
Salem College accepts the principle that a writer's creative work which has been copyrighted is the property of the copyright owner so long as the copyright is in effect. Such material should not be physically or digitally reproduced without permission of the copyright owner except in accordance with the doctrine of "fair use" which is set forth in Section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976 and confirmed or qualified in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 and the Technology, Education, and Copyright Harmony (TEACH) Act of 2002. Since the laws themselves do not specifically delineate what constitutes fair use in copying, Salem accepts as practical guidelines for its faculty, staff, and students the "Agreement on Guidelines for Classroom Copying in Not-For-Profit Educational Institutions with Respect to Books and Periodicals" as well as the guidelines developed for other formats by representatives of numerous educational associations, the publishing industry, and legislators. Links to these and to related documents are maintained on the library web pages. Resources are also available through the library.
The copyright statutes cited above are extremely complex documents, subject to a variety of interpretations. Because these statutes have a significant effect upon the College's teaching, research, and service programs, it is important that members of the campus community understand both the letter and spirit of the law. If you have further questions or would like advice on specific areas of the law as they may apply to your area of responsibility, please forward requests for legal advice to the College attorney through the Dean of the College.
A faculty member may seek to obtain permission from a copyright holder to make more copies than fair use permits, albeit often at significant cost. Funding for permission to make such copies must be approved in advance from the Dean of the College. The Copyright Clearance Center provides online access to an efficient process for requesting and obtaining permission. Alternatively, one may write directly to the copyright holder. Written requests can take several weeks to process and also involve the payment of fees. A faculty member who requests such permission and then rejects the copyright holder's terms has only three legal alternatives: (1) to ask the Salem College Library to purchase copies of the original publication; (2) to photocopy within the limits of fair use; and (3) to forego the use of copies altogether.