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Meredith College Copyright and Intellectual Property Policy Information Page: Copyright Home


Read about these copyright headlines in the Copyright News Box below:

  • Oct. 10, 2012: HathiTrust Copyright Ruling
  • May 11. 2012:  Georgia State E-reserves Ruling

Get Permission to Use a Copyrighted Work

The Copyright Clearance Center is the first stop for getting a license to use copyrighted materials.  You can also contact the publisher or copyright owner directly. 

Meredith Copyright Policy

Meredith College expects students, faculty and staff to be familiar with and obey copyright law.  At a minimum, members of the Meredith community should have a basic understanding of Fair Use concepts.  Users of Blackboard should be aware of additional limitations as described in the TEACH Act.  Supplementary copyright instruction sessions will be offered annually to the Meredith community.

Copyright and Syllabi

Because commercial firms have been paying students to take notes and collect course materials, which are then copied and sold, faculty members may wish to notify students at the beginning of the course that these materials are copyrighted. Course materials that exist in a tangible medium, such as written or recorded lectures, Power Point presentations, handouts and tests, are copyright protected. Students may not copy and distribute such materials except for personal use and with the instructor's permission. Course materials may also be marked copyrighted. (e.g., © 2002 John Doe).

Thanks to the University of Maryland's Faculty Handbook for this helpful information.

When a syllabus is developed, and it does not fall within one of the categories of University-owned works, the syllabus is owned by the author. The course belongs to the faculty member who developed it. As a general rule, the course syllabus, lecture notes, class handouts, lab manuals, and digital presentations are the intellectual property of the instructor who created them. 

If a faculty member holds the copyright to a work, it would be advisable to put the copyright notice on the work, which includes the copyright symbol, year it was written, and name of author, i.e., “© 2010 Pat Doe”.  Though this is not necessary to secure copyright protection, it may deter others from copying it.

Thanks to the University of Missouri System for this helpful information

More about Fair Use

In establishing copyright law, Congress recognized the tension between the rights of those who create and those who use information in our society. In an effort to balance those rights and not restrict the free flow of information, §17 U.S.C. 107 established four general factors to be considered when evaluating whether a proposed use of a copyrighted work does not require permission from the copyright holder. Uses covered by these factors are called "fair use". The factors are:

(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such 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.

Read more about fair use here.

Learn More

The following websites include copyright tutorials and discussions that will help members of the Meredith community to follow copyright guidelines: