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Howard Community College (HCC) supports the responsible, good faith use of copyrighted works by HCC personnel as specified by law. 

If a work is copyrighted and not covered by a license or conditions of use, there are several ways to still use the work in question:

  • Link to the work electronically, as a result, no copy is made;
  • Employ fair use as provided in section 107 of the United States copyright law, as outlined below;
  • Fit within a copyright exception, as provided in section 110 of the United States copyright law; or
  • Obtain permission of the copyright owner.

Under United States copyright law, the “fair use doctrine” allows certain specified uses of a copyrighted work without requiring prior permission of the copyright owner under certain circumstances.  The term “fair use” has generally been defined as the right to use copyrighted works in a reasonable manner without consent of the author.  College faculty or staff who “fair use” copyrighted works must consider in advance the applicability of the following four statutory factors in making a fair use analysis.  

  1. The purpose and character of the use, including whether the use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
  2. The nature of the copyrighted work;
  3. The 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.

The library facilitates use of copyrighted works by HCC personnel.  When copyrighted works are submitted for duplication, they must be accompanied by a completed copyright release form, which may be obtained from the library, and a copy of any letter of permission received.  However, if the instructor decides the duplication falls within a copyright exception such as fair use, the instructor will check this section on the copyright release form. 

For assistance determining a copyright exception, such as fair use, or obtaining copyright permission to use a copyright work, contact the director of the library, who serves as the designated copyright officer. 

Policy Manual Review/Revision: 12/6/13