Purpose: Buena Vista University sets forth the following policies to define and establish the respective rights and obligations of University employees and students regarding appropriate use of intellectual property.

  • Policy for Copyright Compliance
    Scope: This policy affirms the obligation to observe copyright law in compliance with the Copyright Act, Title 17 U.S. Code.

  • “Fair Use” Policy
    Scope: This policy affirms provisions regarding the use of copyrighted materials in the classroom, based on the “fair use” section of the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976.

  • TEACH Act Policy
    Scope: This policy outlines the terms and conditions under which copyrighted materials can be used as part of mediated instructional activities transmitted via digital networks under exemptions of the Technology, Education, and Copyright Harmonization (TEACH) Act of 2002.

  • ADDENDUM
    • Summary of Civil and Criminal Penalties for Violation of Federal Copyright
    • DMCA Incident Response to Claims of Copyright Infringement

Policy for Copyright Compliance

1 SCOPE

 1.1       This policy affirms the obligation to observe copyright law in compliance with the Copyright Act, Title 17 U.S. Code.

 1.2       As an innovative, regionally acclaimed, non-profit educational institution, Buena Vista University is dedicated to disseminating knowledge through teaching, research and service. In support of the University’s mission of preparing students for leadership and service in an information-driven, global society, the University provides high-quality resources, delivery systems and services for students both residential and remote. In recognition of our mission and guided by the principles of intellectual freedom, BVU sets forth these policies for all employees and students to foster an environment of respect for intellectual property and compliance with the law.

2 POLICY

2.1       It is the policy of Buena Vista University to comply with all applicable laws regarding copyright. These copyright laws apply to all copyright-protected materials regardless of whether they are reproduced or distributed in digital, electronic, print or other format. All employees and students who use equipment, facilities, resources or funds administered by the University in the course of University-related scholarly and creative activities are required to respect the proprietary rights of owners of copyrights and refrain from actions that infringe the rights of copyright owners.

2.1.1    Works are protected by copyright laws in the U.S. even if they are not registered with the U.S. Copyright Office and even if they do not carry the copyright symbol (©). Copyrighted works include, but are not limited to, printed articles from publications, TV and radio programs, videotapes, music performances, photographs, training materials, manuals, documentation, software programs, databases and World Wide Web pages. In general, the laws that apply to printed materials are also applicable to visual and electronic media and works transformed into digital format.

2.2       The unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material, including peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject individuals to civil and criminal liability according to federal copyright law.  In cases of copyright violation, Buena Vista University reserves the right to initiate campus disciplinary action through the customary judicial process, or pursue legal recourse to the full extent of the law.  Attached hereto as Addendum is a summary of civil and criminal penalties for violation of federal copyright laws.

3 PROCEDURE

3.1       In order to use a copyrighted work, employees and students must either obtain permission or qualify for a legal exception to the requirement for permission. (See Policies and Resources sections regarding “fair use” and TEACH Act for further information.) 

3.2       Faculty Senate, in consultation with appropriate parties, will convene relevant stakeholders on an “as-needed” basis to review copyright policies.   The committee is charged to:

3.2.1    Monitor the copyright environment to assess the implications of new legislation for University policy and practice.

3.2.2    Coordinate educational efforts by developing and making available common resources concerning copyright laws, and work collectively to ensure consistency of application and communication to the University community.

3.2.3    Provide notice, education and guidance to employees and students about the requirements of copyright law and the legal exceptions to the requirement for permission.

3.2.4    Make recommendations to resolve questions pertaining to interpretation of copyright law.

4 Penalties for Copyright Infringement

4.1       Through the customary judicial process, disciplinary action will be taken against University employees or students who engage in illegal downloading, unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, or unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials using the University’s information technology system (see Addendum). For students, violations will be prosecuted via the Judicial Board; for faculty and staff, the disciplinary procedures are outlined in the Faculty Handbook and the Staff Handbook. 

“Fair Use” Policy

1 SCOPE

1.1       This policy affirms provisions regarding the use of copyrighted materials in the classroom, based on the “fair use” section of the United States Copyright Act of 1976. The policy:

1.1.1    Addresses why the issue of “fair use” is of importance to the BVU academic community.

1.1.2    Outlines for the BVU academic community the set of “fair use” factors, based on the “fair use” section of the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976.  See 17 U.S.C. § 107 (2006).

2 POLICY

2.1       Section 107 of the copyright law (17 U.S.C. § 107 (2006)) commonly known as the doctrine of “fair use” provides the opportunity to make use of copyrighted materials without authorization from the copyright holder. This includes such use as news reporting, comment, criticism, teaching, research, and other scholarship. Employees and students are prohibited from copying materials not specifically allowed by copyright law, by “fair use” guidelines, by licenses or contractual agreements, or by express permission from the copyright holder(s).

2.2       The “fair use” provision of the copyright law is an important exemption to the exclusive rights of copyright owners. Because there is no blanket exemption in copyright law for educational or scholarly use of copyrighted works, each use must meet the “fair use” test. (See, 17 U.S.C. § 107 (1)-(4) (2006).)  The University encourages members of the BVU academic community to exercise “fair use” rights appropriately in their teaching, research, and service activities. Members of the BVU community are urged to consult appropriate staff in the Library, Teaching and Learning with Technology Center, or Online Programs for guidance in applying “fair use” tests.

2.3       17 U.S.C. § 107 (1) – (4) (2006) sets out four factors that should be collectively considered in determining whether or not a particular use is fair:

2.3.1    “The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for non-profit educational purposes;”  Id. at § 107 (1).

2.3.2    “The nature of the copyrighted work;” Id. at  § 107 (2).

2.3.3    “The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and” Id. at § 107 (3)

2.3.4    “The effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.”  Id.  at § 107 (4).

3 PROCEDURE

3.1       Faculty will use the provisions of the “fair use” doctrine in determining the extent to which copyrighted material will be used in the classroom. Permission shall be obtained for each use of a copyrighted work that does not fall clearly within the guidelines or when a clear and convincing finding of “fair use” cannot be made.

3.2       Employees or students who require assistance with “fair use” questions are encouraged to refer to the Resources section of this policy or consult with the Teaching and Learning with Technology Center. 

3.3       Course syllabi should include a statement that “materials used in connection with the course may be subject to copyright protection.”

3.4       For the use of copyrighted work used as part of mediated instructional activities transmitted via digital networks such as course materials in the University's learning management systems or repositories), see the Buena Vista University TEACH Act Policy.

TEACH Act Policy

1 SCOPE

1.1       This policy outlines the terms and conditions under which copyrighted materials can be used as part of mediated instructional activities transmitted via digital networks under exemptions of the Technology, Education, and Copyright Harmonization (TEACH) Act of 2002. (See, 17 U.S.C. § 110(2) (2006) and 17 U.S.C. § 112(f) (2006).)

2. POLICY

2.1       The following works are not infringements of copyright by the TEACH Act (17 U.S.C. §110(2) (2006), provided that certain conditions (listed in 2.3 below) are met:

2.1.1    A performance of a non-dramatic literary work

2.1.2    A performance of a non-dramatic musical work

2.1.3    A performance of any other work, including dramatic works and audiovisual works, but only in “reasonable and limited portions” Id.

2.1.4    A display of any work in an amount comparable to that which is typically displayed in the course of a live classroom session

2.2       The following works are excluded by the TEACH Act (17 U.S.C. § 110(2) (2006):

2.2.1    Work produced or marketed “primarily for performance or display as part of mediated instructional activities transmitted via digital networks.” Id.  Examples include course cartridges prepared by publishing companies that require institutions to purchase licenses for student access.

2.2.2    Work “not lawfully made and acquired” under the U.S. Copyright

Act if the instructor or the institution know or reasonably should know materials were not lawfully made or acquired. Id.

2.2.3    Work originally produced in analog format cannot be digitized except under the following circumstances: See, 17 U.S.C. 112 (f) (2006)

2.2.3.1             The amount converted is limited to the amount appropriate for the instructional activities Id. at §112(f)(2); and

2.2.3.2             A digital version of the work is not “available to the institution,” (Id. at §112 (f)(2)(A)) or is secured behind technological protection preventing accessibility in the distance-education program (Id. at §112(f)(2)(B))

2.3       The use of materials permitted under Section 2.1, above, may be used under the following condition:

2.3.1    The work or performance used is “at the direction of, or under the actual supervision of an instructor as an integral part of a class session offered as a regular part of the systematic, mediated instructional activities” of the University. 17 U.S.C. §110(2)(A) (2006).

3 PROCEDURE 

3.1       Faculty will adhere to the requirements of the “TEACH Act” for the use of copyrighted works used as part of mediated instructional activities transmitted via digital networks.

3.2       In order to apply provisions of the TEACH Act, course syllabi must include the following Copyright Notice: “Many of the materials posted to this course site are protected by copyright law. These materials are only for the use of students enrolled in this course and only for the purposes of this course. They may not be further retained or disseminated.”

3.3       Works that do not meet the above conditions must qualify as “fair use” or qualify as a permitted use because permission has been granted from the copyright holder(s), or because the use is covered by a license or contractual agreement.

3.4       Guidelines regarding the use of copyrighted works to be used as part of mediated instructional activities transmitted via digital networks can be found in the Resources section for TEACH Act.

Addendum

Summary of Civil and Criminal Penalties for Violation of Federal Copyright Laws

Copyright infringement is the act of exercising, without permission or legal authority, one or more of the exclusive rights granted to the copyright owner under the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C § 106 (2006).  These rights include the right to reproduce or distribute a copyrighted work.  In the file-sharing context, downloading or uploading substantial parts of a copyrighted work without authority constitutes an infringement.

Penalties for copyright infringement include civil and criminal penalties.  In general, anyone found liable for civil copyright infringement may be ordered to pay either actual damages or statutory damages affixed at not less than $750 and not more than $30,000 per work infringed.  17 U.S.C. §§ 504 (a) and (c)(1) (2006).  For “willful” infringement, a court may award up to $150,000 per work infringed.  Id. at §504(c)(2).   A court can, in its discretion, also assess costs and attorneys’ fees. Id at §505.   Willful copyright infringement can also result in criminal penalties, including imprisonment of up to five years and fines of up to $250,000 per offense.  Id. at §506, 18 U.S.C. 2319 (2006) .   For more information, please see the website of the U.S. Copyright Office at www.copyright.gov.

DMCA Incident Response to Claims of Copyright Infringement

When Buena Vista University receives a copyright infringement claim involving music, video, software, or other digital materials, we take the following steps:

  • We check network usage logs and registration information to identify the person associated as well as to examine the system alleged to be involved in copyright infringement;
  • We suspend the system’s Internet access;
  • We notify the copyright holder (or agent) that we are handling the infringement claim under the guidelines of the Digital Millennium Copyrights Act (1998);
  • We DO NOT disclose the user's identity unless subpoenaed;
  • We inform the user that and infringement claim as been made and ask if the user has downloaded or shared the copyrighted material in question without permission.