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Copyright Policy


The purpose of this policy is to ensure that all members of the college community adhere to the copyright laws of the United States.

This policy applies to all Bucks County Community College faculty, staff, administration, and students.

Policy Statement

All Bucks Community College faculty, staff, and students are expected to act as responsible users of copyrighted works, which includes making informed decisions based on the fair use exemptions to the copyright laws. It is the responsibility of every member of the College to follow the copyright laws set forth by Congress in the Copyright Act of 1976, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and the Technology Education and Copyright Harmonization Act (TEACH Act).

To that end, this website was developed to help you to gain information about copyright questions and where to go for further assistance in answering these questions. Remember to check back frequently for additions and updates to this site. For more information and helpful resources please visit our Copyright LibGuide at


Adapted from Copyright Basics 1

Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States (title 17, U.S. Code) to the authors/creators of “original works of authorship,” including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works. Copyright law further allows the owner of copyright the exclusive right to do and to authorize others to reproduce, prepare derivative works, distribute, perform, or display works. It is illegal for anyone to violate any of the rights provided by the copyright law to the owner of copyright.

Fair Use

Section 107 of the copyright law allows fair use of copyrighted materials. There are four criteria 2 , all of which must be considered, in determining fair use:

  1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
  2. the nature of the copyrighted work;
  3. amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
  4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

Bucks makes available current information to assist in determining if usage is fair or if permission is required.

Permission to Use

For uses of copyrighted materials outside the scope of fair use, usage permission can be sought from the copyright holder. Assistance is provided in obtaining usage permission through the Copyright Liaison.

Copyright Liaison

The College establishes a Copyright Liaison to assist with questions and resources regarding copyrighted materials.

Educational Outreach

The College establishes a copyright website with helpful links to provide timely information on copyright and fair use.

The College, through the Copyright Liaison and the Library, makes available up to date publications and resources provided by government, education and professional associations regarding copyright, fair use, and related topics.

The Copyright Liaison provides instruction in order to educate the college community on their rights and responsibilities under current copyright law.

1 Copyright Basics. United States Copyright Office. accessed April 13, 2012.

2 Fair Use. United States Copyright Office. accessed April 13, 2012.