Copyright Information

General Copyright FAQ

Where can I find information about copyright compliance for college faculty and staff members?

See Copyright Compliance for Faculty and Staff Members on the Copyright Clearance Center's Quick Links page.

See also their Using Content: Photocopies Web page.

What can be protected by copyright?

  • Literary works
  • Musical works
  • Dramatic works
  • Pictorial, graphic and sculpture works

What is the purpose of Copyright Law?

To benefit the public by advancing the progress of science and art. Created by Congress, copyright law is balanced by the copyright holder's rights and certain user exemptions such as fair use, making copies, classroom use, etc…

Does copyright protection ever end?

Yes, it eventually ends and a work becomes part of the public domain meaning that it will eventually belong to everyone.

What is public domain?

Work, information and artistic creation never or no longer protected by copyright.

Works of the U.S. government produced by government employees are in the public domain.

How can I locate works in the public domain?

Which works fall under the public domain?

Check the following table:

Time of Publication in the USConditionPublic Domain Status
Before 1923 None Yes
1923 to 1978 Published without copyright notice Yes
1978 to Mar. 1, 1989 Published without copyright notice or subsequent registration Yes
1923 to 1963 Published with notice but not renewed Yes

How about anonymous works?

Anonymous works are protected by copyright. Contact the publisher, if it is known.

What if a book is out of print?

If the term of copyright for a book is not expired, it is still protected under copyright law.

What is Fair Use?

See Library of Congress description,

To read more about copyright visit any of the following Web sites:

Recommended Books:

The complete copyright liability handbook for librarians and educators / Tomas A. Lipinski
KF3080 .L57 2006
Copyright in Cyberspace : questions and answers for librarians / Gretchen McCord Hoffmann
Ref. KF3030.1.Z9 H64 2001

Snowden Copyright Information

What can I place on reserve?

All library materials; copied copyrighted materials falling under Fair Use with accompanying complete bibliographic citation; an instructor's personal copy; links to full-text articles from databases subscribed to by the Library.
Please note that Snowden Library cannot be responsible for loss or damage of personal copies placed on reserve. You can recommend that the library purchase any resource that has value to your coursework. To do so, please fill out a request form.
In general you should be fine if any of the following situations are true:

You are the copyright owner of the material Copyright holder is granting permission
Work is under public domain
The use of the material is a "Fair Use" under the law

What are alternatives to placing materials on reserves without requesting copyright clearance?

Actually there is no definite alternative but there are a couple of suggestions:
Provide a link to licensed content of databases provided through Snowden library.Contact any of the librarians to find out what database subscriptions are available.

How can I make sure Snowden Library does not have what I need before getting copyright permission?

Check Snowden Library's Online Catalog and Periodicals A-Z.
If in doubt submit the full-text availability verification form and one of the librarians will get back to you.

Can copyrighted work be used in the classroom?

If it falls under fair use, it can be used - - at least for the first time.

How can I decide whether my request falls under Fair Use?

Use provided checklist. Think critically when using this checklist and make sure that you are consistent each time you use it.

How much of a work can I photocopy or scan?

Although individual situations may vary, in most cases 10% or less of the work is the standard guideline

Who is responsible for securing copyright permission for materials I am using for my course?

Lycoming College faculty is ultimately responsible for securing permission to place materials on reserve or mounting them on Moodle. Snowden Library can help you with requesting copyright clearance.

Can I get permission from a copyright holder by email or phone?

Yes, just make sure that you keep a file of email communications or the final confirmation letter you receive after acquiring permission on the phone.


Can I mount course readings on my personal Web site?

Lycoming College encourages you to use Moodle or Snowden Library to make course readings or reserves available to students. If you are still interested in mounting copyright protected material on your own Web space, you will need to clear copyright and are ultimately responsible for securing adequate copyright permission for the length of time you want to have such materials mounted on your page. Snowden Librarians can assist you in seeking copyright permission. Fees for such permissions are generally high.

What are general guidelines for mounting readings on a course management system such as Moodle?

Systems such as Moodle must provide material within the context and limits of copyright law, and therefore should not include any such material unless faculty, Snowden Library or another unit of the educational institution possesses a lawfully obtained copy, has obtained copyright clearance or is applying fair use principles. All materials posted on a CMS, should include a citation to the original source of publication and a form of copyright notice if necessary.
Faculty need to advise students that the materials are made available exclusively for use by students enrolled in the course and must not be distributed beyond students enrolled in the specific course for which the materials are needed. Copyrighted materials available to students for purchase should not be mounted. Linking to full-text subscribed library databases or other Web sites generally does not raise a copyright issue and is the preferred method.

Can I link to other Web pages? How about deep linking?

Linking to other Web pages from a CMS or your own Web site generally does not raise any copyright questions. Deep linking can be a problem if you bypass information or advertisements that the Web site owner wants visitors to see before accessing additional information. Think twice before deep linking and always ask for permission from the creator of the Web site.

What are the specific guidelines to place course readings on Moodle?

An enrollment key needs to be set up by faculty teaching a course. This enrollment key will act as a password to allow access to students already enrolled in a course. A link to full-text must be provided if available through the library or institution. An expiration date must be set up for each course so students cannot access it after the semester is over. You can also create a back up of your course and make it unavailable to students at the end of each semester.

Will Snowden Library assist you with scanning, photocopying or preparing readings to be placed on reserve or mounted on Moodle?

Although placing materials on Moodle is the responsibility of the faculty member, the library staff is willing to assist. Please contact Gail Spencer at the Circulation Desk. You can also contact your department secretary for assistance.Copies become your property and the library has no reason to think that the copy will be used for anything but private study, scholarship, or research.

What is the procedure for removing print reserve materials?

Library staff removes all print reserves in the Snowden Library at the end of each semester. Faculty can pick up these materials at the Circulation Desk.

What advantage does Moodle have over selling a course pack in the College Book Store?

First of all, Moodle offers flexibility. Articles can be added as the semester continues. Second, the faculty member can be more observant of good copyright practices. Moodle insures that only class members have access to articles without any appearance of profit. Best of all, students can link directly to an article in a database to which Snowden Library subscribes