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Copyright and the Private Sector University

Disclaimer: The content of this guide is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.

How Chamberlain University is Different

Chamberlain is a private sector college. This means that copyright is handled very differently at Chamberlain than at other universities. This is because, according to Carson (2008), "private sector colleges are not eligible for the education exception and must rely on fair use."

If you are not familiar with fair use, this guide will provide some basic background information. However, because extreme care is required when using copyrighted materials at Chamberlain University, if you have any doubts, please contact your professor, your dean, or your manager for guidance.

What is Fair Use?

Fair use is a concept in U.S. law that recognizes that certain uses of copyright-protected works do not require permission from the copyright holder.

The key provision of the law is U. S. Code, Title 17 § 107, which states in part:

Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use, the factors to be considered shall include:

  • 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.

The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.

The below link will provide additional information regarding the fair use of materials under the law. 

Note! Analyzing the Fair Use concept for Chamberlain is complex. Apply this with great caution!

Government Copyright Resources

The government is the best place to find information about copyright law. Below are some links to information on different aspects of copyright law that will be a great place for you to explore to start to understand the ins and outs of copyright law. 

Quick Facts

  • All tangible creative works are protected by copyright immediately upon creation.
  • Quoting or crediting the author of a copied work does not satisfy copyright requirements.
  • When in doubt about either the copyright status of a work or the appropriateness of your use of that work, get permission.
  • Any work that can be defined as a tangible medium of expression, including books, articles, movies, videos, songs, websites, images, photographs etc, is considered to be copyright protected at the moment of creation.
  • Works do not need to be registered or even published to have a copyright.
  • Assume that everything is copyrighted!

Considering the TEACH Act

The TEACH Act applies only to accredited not-for-profit educational institutions. Chamberlain is a private sector college.

The Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization Act (aka TEACH Act) was enacted eight years (2002) ago as an amendment to Section 110(2) of the Copyright Act. It is, in fact, simply the current version of Section 110(2) and is not a separate law.

Read about the legislative history and other information about TEACH Act at the links below:

References

Carson, B. M., (2008). Legally speaking — Copyright and for-profit educational institutions DLPS faculty publications. Against the Grain, 20(1), Article 27. https://doi.org/10.7771/2380-176X.2709

United States Code, Supplement 4, Title 17 § 107 (2006).

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