As a faculty member at Bridgemont Communty and Technical College, you are expected to comply with the applicable United States laws regarding copyright. You can read the copyright policy by clicking "Sharepoint forms and Policies" on this page. Enter ad\, then your username and password when requested (this is the same as what you use to get your email). You will then see the Sharepont site. Once you are there, click the "Operating Policies" folder and navigate to Operating Policy C-OP-8-10.

The information below provides a list of the morst important things you need to know about copyright law and teaching.

  • Since 1989, copyright protection begins for the moment that the original work is fixed "in a tangible medium of expression." Copyright protection begins at creation and lasts until 50 years after the author's death or 100 years after first publication. 
  • Since 1978, copyright protects both published and unpublished works.
  • After copyright expires, the work then passes into the public domain and can be used freely for any purpose the user wishes.

Fair Use:

US Law provides a limited amount of reuse of copyrighted work in certain situations. This reuse is called Fair Use.  Four tests must be satisfied to ensure that a use is fair: Educational use alone is not sufficient to make the  use in question a fair one.

  1. The purpose or character of the use. Educational use is more likely to be considered fair use; commercial use is less likely to be fair use. 
  2. The nature of the copyrighted work. Nonfiction is more likely to be considered fair use.
  3. The amount of a work. Use of an entire work is less likely to be considered a fair use. 
  4. The effect of the work in question on the potential market for the work.

Classroom Copying:

If you find an article or newspaper story that would be a valuable addition to your class, the law provides an "instance and inspiration" exemption such that "the inspiration and the decision to use the work and the moment of its use for maximum teaching effectiveness are so close in time that it  would be unreasonable to expect a timely response" from the copyright holder.

In general,the following rules apply for classroom copying:

  1. You may make multiple copies of the following materials for classroom use: an illustration, a complete article if less than 2500 words, or 10% of a work exceeding 1000 words, or a complete poem is less than 250 words.
  2. You may make limitless copies of newspapers, current news sections, US government works, works in the public domain, and ineliglble works;
  3. You may not make copies as a substitute for buying a book, text, or reprint.
  4. You may not repeatedly copy the same excerpt from semester to semester without permission.

Consult the copyright policy for a more exhaustive list regarding classroom copying.

Requesting Permission: (from the BCTC Copyright Policy)

Procedures for Obtaining Permission to Copy

  1. Obtain Name and Address of Publisher. Determine who owns the copyright on the material. The page containing a notice of copyright can help you determine who owns the copyright, the year of publication and the publisher's address. The acknowledgement page may also contain information regarding copyright ownership. If the address of the publisher does not appear with the material, it may be obtained from the resources available in the either the John Terrey Library or the College Bookstore.
  1. 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.