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Copyright Policy and Procedures

General Copyright Policy

Pace University is subject to the United States Copyright Act of 1976. The Act grants the copyright holder of works of intellectual property exclusive control over the copying, distribution, and performance of such works. Pace policy requires all members of the University community to comply with the Copyright Act and related copyright laws. Violations of the law can result in liability for substantial damages to the copyright holder (and in extreme cases even criminal penalties).

Thus, all members of the University community are responsible for familiarizing themselves with and complying with the Copyright Act’s requirements, including with respect to photocopying, and with the “Fair Use” exception to copyright (which in appropriate situations permits copying of copyrighted works without the copyright holder’s consent).

Description of Copyright

The first question in connection with copying a written work is whether that work is protected by copyright. If the work is fairly contemporary, the answer most of the time will be “yes.” Copyright protects virtually all contemporary written works (in addition to other types of works “in tangible form,” such as motion pictures and recordings), whether published or unpublished, in print or out of print.

In general, the only written works, old or new, not protected by copyright, and thus considered to be in the “public domain,” are works whose copyrights have expired (all works published more than 75 years ago or before 1930), works of the United States Government and certain other official documents such as federal and state judicial opinions and statutes, and a narrow category of works published before March, 1989, that fail to carry a valid copyright notice. Works in the public domain may be freely reproduced.

Subject to the exceptions described below, the Copyright Act grants the holder of the copyright in a work of intellectual property the exclusive right to do or allow others to do (via licensing) each of the following acts with regard to the copyrighted work:

  • reproduce all or part of the work;
  • distribute copies;
  • prepare new (“derivative”) versions based on the original work; and
  • “publicly perform and display the work”

The use of any copyrighted materials in course packets or otherwise requires permission from the copyright holder unless the material is in the public domain or falls under the definition of “fair use.”

Fair Use

Works protected by copyright may be copied only with the copyright holder’s permission, unless the copying is considered a “fair use”. The Copyright Act provides for but does not clearly demarcate the boundaries of fair use. Thus, a determination using the available standards and guidelines should be undertaken before making copies of a copyrighted work without permission of the copyright holder.

The Guidelines for Classroom Copying. In 1976, representatives of publishers and educational institutions negotiated a document entitled “Agreement on Guidelines for Classroom Copying in Not-for-Profit Educational Institutions (PDF),” to provide guidance on what classroom copying would clearly be considered fair use. This document does not have the force of law but was incorporated in the legislative history of the Copyright Act of 1976 and has been recognized by Congress as a “reasonable interpretation of the minimum standards of fair use.” If your proposed copying falls within the Guidelines, it is a fair use. Copying which exceeds the Guidelines also may be a fair use, but you will need to undertake a more subjective analysis under the fair use factors.


1. Single Copies for Research or Teaching.
A single copy may be made of any of the following at the individual request of any teacher or scholar for use in research or teaching:

a. A chapter from a book.

b. An article from a periodical or newspaper.

c. A short story, short essay, or short poem.

d. A chart, graph, diagram, drawing, cartoon or picture from a book, periodical or newspaper.

Longer excerpts may be permissible depending on the relationship to the work as a whole. Copying should not substitute for the purchase of books or periodicals.

2. Multiple Copies For Classroom Use.
Multiple copies (not exceeding 1 copy per pupil) may be made by or for a teacher giving a course for classroom use, or discussion, provided that all the following requirements are met:

a. The copying is brief. In this context, “brief” means:

i. poetry: a complete poem if less than 250 words and printed on not more than two pages, or an excerpt from a longer poem of not more than 250 words.

ii. prose: a complete article, story or essay of less than 2500 words, or an excerpt from a longer prose work of not more than 1000 words or 10% of the work, whichever is less.

iii. illustration: one chart, graph, diagram, drawing, cartoon or picture per book or per periodical issue.

b. The copying is spontaneous. In this context, “spontaneous” means:

. It is at the instance and inspiration of an individual teacher, and

i. The decision to use the work and the time for its use for effective teaching are so close that it would be unreasonable to expect a timely reply to a request for permission.

c. The copying does not have an improper cumulative effect. For copying not to have an improper cumulative effect:

. the copying of the material must be for only one course.

i. not more than one short poem, article, story, essay or two excerpts may be copied from the same author or more than three from the same collective work or periodical volume during one class term.

ii. there must not be more than 9 instances of such multiple copying for one course in one class term.

(The limitations in “ii” and “iii” above do not apply to current news periodicals and newspapers orcurrent news sections of other periodicals.)

d. The copying does not violate any of the following general prohibitions:

. Copying shall not be used to create, replace or substitute for anthologies, compilations, or collective works.

i. There shall be no copying from workbooks, exercises, standardized tests and test booklet answer sheets, or any similar materials intended to be “consumed” in the course of study or teaching.

ii. Copying shall not substitute for the purchase of books, publisher’s reprints or periodicals.

iii. Copying shall not be directed by anyone other than the teacher of the class.

iv. Copying shall not be repeated in more than one semester with respect to the same item by the same teacher.

v. No charge shall be made to the student beyond the actual cost of photocopying.

e. All materials copied under these provisions shall bear a notice of copyright on the first page. This notice should be in the following form: (year of copyright, name of copyright owner.

Statutory Fair Use: Section 107 of the Copyright Act. Though the Guidelines have been recognized by Congress as a “reasonable interpretation of the minimum standards of fair use” and are cited by judges in their assessment of fair use, they are not intended to limit the types of copying permitted under the standards of fair use developed by the courts. Those standards are codified in Section 107 of the Copyright Act and are known as the “fair use doctrine.”.

The doctrine of "Fair Use" permits under limited circumstances the use of a copyrighted work, including reproducing portions of that work, without the copyright holder’s permission. Section 107 of the Copyright Act establishes four basic factors to be examined in determining whether a use constitutes a "Fair Use" under the copyright law. These factors are:

a) The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;

b) The nature of the copyrighted work;

c) The amount and substantiality of the portion of the work used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and

d) The effect of the use in question upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

No one of these factors is by itself determinative of a person's right to use a copyrighted work without permission. Educational use alone is not sufficient to make the use in question a fair one.

Procedures for Obtaining Permission to Copy

If, taking into account the four fair use factors as well as the Guidelines, the copying does not clearly qualify as fair use, you should seek the permission of the copyright holder.

1. Obtain Name and Address of Owner/Controller Determine who holds the copyright to the material. The page containing a notice of copyright can help you determine who holds the copyright, the year of publication and the publisher's address. The acknowledgement page may also contain information regarding copyright ownership or control.

2. Request Permission to Duplicate. A request containing the information listed below should be sent to the permission department of the publisher in question. Provide complete and accurate information regarding the work to be duplicated such as:

  • Title, author and/or editor; copyright or publication date and edition of the book in which the materials to be duplicated appear;
  • Exact material to be used, giving amount, page numbers, chapters and, if possible, a photocopy of the material and title and copyright page;
  • Number of copies to be made;
  • Use to be made of duplicated materials and form of distribution (e.g., as course material and whether collected with other excerpts or materials, whether bound or unbound);
  • Whether or not the material is to be sold,
  • Type of reprint (ditto, photocopy, offset, typeset).

In addition the processing of your request will be facilitated if you:

  • Request all permissions for a specific project at the same time;
  • Allow enough lead time to obtain the necessary permission before the materials are needed;
  • Don't ask for blanket permission, since it cannot, in most cases, be granted;
  • Remember to include a return address in your request.

Permission from Copyright Clearance Center

In addition, one can obtain permission for copying either directly from the publisher or through the Copyright Clearance Center (CCC). You can choose either to perform these tasks yourself or use a copy center that will obtain permission and pay the fees and royalties for you.

The CCC’s Academic Permissions Service. The most efficient way of obtaining permissions from many publishers is to use the Academic Permissions Service of the Copyright Clearance Center, either through an individual or departmental subscription or through a copy service that subscribes to the Service. The CCC can be contacted and permission requested on the web.

Pace UniversityProcedures

Staff Services Copying & Duplicating Procedures

  • Customers will be expected to maintain their own records involving written permissions. Permissions as well as other documentation should be submitted with each duplicating request.
  • Include as part of the duplicating order:

a) With Copyright Permission: a copy of the original acknowledgment of copyright. This should include the title of the publication, name of the holder of copyright, date of copyright, copyright symbol, and the publisher's identification.

The Pace University’s Certification of Copyright Permission Form (PDF) must accompany the job submission. This should include the undersign, name of the documents to be duplicated, distinction of being sold or distributed for free, name of course, the date of the semester, date, name and title of requester.

3. Staff Services personnel will review all duplicating requests with an eye toward copyrights. Those requests that appear to be infringing on author's rights must be returned to the customer. Returned requests will be accompanied by an explanation of the deficiency. Deficiencies may take the form of infringements or failure to conform to fair use practices.

4. If the publisher includes photocopying policies within the book or periodical, include a copy of their policy with the printing order. Occasionally, a general release is given for copying. If there is such a release, make a copy of it and include it with your duplicating request.