The Library at the University of Hawaii Windward Community College


Windward Community College recognizes and respects intellectual property rights and therefore promotes compliance with copyright law and understanding of the appropriate use of copyrighted works. It is the responsibility of all College faculty, staff and students to make a good faith determination as to whether their use of copyrighted materials constitutes fair use. The resources on this page should not be construed as a substitute for legal advice, nor is this resource comprehensive on the subject of copyright.

Under the guidelines established by the American Library Association's Code of Ethics, the WCC Library faculty and staff do not provide interpretations of copyright laws.

General Guidelines

View the Copyright Guidelines (PDF) written by the Copyright Policy Task Force at UH Manoa in 1992.

U.S. Copyright Office provides information to the copyright community of creators and users, as well as to the general public.

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 is available from the government's copyright web page.

The Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization (TEACH) Act guides higher education institutions in using copyrighted materials in distance education.

Copyright. A property right in an original work of authorship (such as a literary, musical, artistic, photographic, or film work) fixed in any tangible medium of expression, giving the holder the exclusive right to reproduce, adapt, distribute, perform, and display the work (Black's Law Dictionary).

Fair use. A reasonable and limited use of a copyrighted work without the author's permission, such as quoting from a book in a book review or using parts of it in a parody (Black's Law Dictionary).

Copyright Facts

Fair Use Facts

The author is usually the owner, except when work-for-hire rules apply. However, many publishers require authors to transfer copyright as a condition of publication.

Works are protected once they are created, they do not need to be published.

Most copyrights today last through the life of the author, plus 70 years.

Works published before 1978 can have copyright protection for a maximum term of 95 years.

Cornell University publishes a chart outlining Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States

The University of North Carolina provides a summary page on When U.S. Works Pass Into the Public Domain.

The University of Texas offers a Crash Course in Copyright.

The Copyright Act (Title 17 of the U.S. Code) provides guidelines for fair use of copyrighted materials without having to secure copyright permission.

Non-commercial, educational use of copyrighted material is not automatically covered by fair use.

The American Library Association provides a Model Policy Concerning College and University Photocopying for Classroom, Research and Library Reserve Use.

The 1997 Conference on Fair Use developed Guidelines for Fair Use of Electronic Reserve Systems.

University of Minnesota Libraries
offers a detailed explanation on Fair Use.

Copyright and Course Reserves

Faculty may place the following items on reserve at the Circulation Desk of the Windward Community College Library for one semester without copyright clearance:
  • up to five copies of one article per journal issue
  • one chapter per copyrighted book
  • For items placed on reserve for more than one semester, the faculty member is responsible for obtaining copyright permission for each semester that the documents are used. Permission can be obtained online through the Copyright Clearance Center or by sending a letter (on official letterhead) along with a self-addressed, stamped envelope to the rights-holder of the copyrighted work in question.

    Below are some important links to help faculty in determining Fair Use:

    Copyright Clearance Center's Copyright Campus Guide

    Copyright Compliance for Faculty and Staff Members

    Click on the links below to view some sample copyright permission letters:

    Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis - Various forms of permission

    Hunter College Libraries - Print and electronic permission

    University Libraries at Virginia Tech - Online permission

    Please note: using copyrighted materials for educational purposes may not always fall under Fair Use.

    Peer-to-Peer File-Sharing

    The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (DMCA) prohibits the use of file-sharing or peer-to-peer (P2P) programs (i.e. Lime Wire, Bittorent, Gnutella) to download and share copyrighted works--music, movies, software, television shows, games, and images--without permission from the copyright owners. Both the individual who makes an illegal copy of a copyrighted work available, as well as the individual who downloads an illegal copy are in violation of the DMCA. Copyright violations can result in penalties of up to $150,000 per violation.

    As an Internet Service Provider (ISP), Windward Community College must comply with the DMCA and respond to copyright infringement complaints, including terminating access to repeat copyright violators.

    For more information on file sharing, peer-to-peer technology, and intellectual property regulation, visit EducauseCONNECT, as well as the Recording Industry Association of America(RIAA). The RIAA succinctly summarizes copyright law as it pertains to online piracy of music and other recorded media.

    Other Copyright Resources

    ALA Copyright Advisory Network's Public Domain Copyright Slider

    ALA Fact Sheet 7: Video and Copyright

    Copyright Advisory Network Wiki

    Creative Commons

    Leeward CC's Copyright Law in Distance & Distributed Learning page

    Stanford University Copyright & Fair Use

    University of Hawaii at Manoa Libraries Copyright Policy & Guidelines

    University of Hawaii System: Copyright in the Digital Age

    University of North Carolina's University Committee on Copyright

    Infographic: Can I Use That Picture? from Curtis Newbold 

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