Cabrini copyright policy and file-sharing

file-sharing policy

Cabrini College and Holy Spirit Library are subject to the copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) which governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions –including digital—of copyrighted material.    Copyright is the right of an author, composer, or other creator of a work to control the use of that work by others.   This protection extends to literature, music, drama, pantomimes, choreography, pictures, graphic works, sculpture, motion pictures, audiovisual works, sound recordings, and architecture.   Copyrighted works may not be reproduced without the permission of the individual who owns the copyright.    Public display and performances of copyrighted works are also restricted. 

intellectual property

Intellectual property created by faculty members and employees of Cabrini College is protected under Cabrini’s copyright policy. 

fair Use

“Fair Use” is a copyright law doctrine that permits the reproduction or other use of a copyrighted work, without the copyright owner’s permission, for purposes such as criticism, commentary, news reporting, teaching, and research.

Under “fair use”, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research."  If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," that user may be liable for copyright infringement.

peer-to-peer file sharing

Cabrini College is committed to taking reasonable steps to avoid misuse of its computer network, including use of the computer network to violate the Copyright Law of the United States.   Hollywood-supported legislation is part of the higher education bill (Higher Education Opportunity Act 2008) and is designed to curtail music and movie piracy.  Campus computer networks are often used illegally to reproduce and distribute copyrighted music, movies, television shows, pictures, and software through the use of peer-to-peer (P2P) networks.  P2P file sharing applications allow a computer to connect to a P2P network, and once connected, make it possible to download and share files with other users on the network.  Providing or obtaining copyrighted material (e.g., music, movies, videos, text, etc.) without permission from the copyright owner violates the U.S. Copyright Act and College policy.

Beginning in April 2003 when members of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) filed civil suits against students at Michigan Tech, Princeton University, and Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute seeking substantial damages for copyright infringement, there has been an increasing level of attention to violators of copyright laws. (Those cases were quickly settled, with each of the student defendants agreeing to pay more than $12,000 in damages.) Since then, there has been increasing pressure on universities to take action against copyright violations, especially those attributable to P2P.

Students cited by the RIAA, the Motion Picture Association of America, Universal Studios, the Business Software Alliance, the Interactive Digital Software Association (now the Entertainment Software Association) or any other legitimate industry protected under copyright laws and are reported to ITR will have their network ports disabled immediately. Cabrini’s ITR department has a legal right to disable the network connection. If a student suspects their network port has been disabled they are to contact ITR for verification. Student’s ports will only be enabled after meeting with Residence Life. Illegal Peer-to-Peer programs will be removed from a student’s computer by the ITR department following the meeting with Residence Life. Repeat offenders will have their network ports turned off for the remainder of the year.

Additional information is available in the Library’s Copyright Policy and Academic Reserves document, available at:

copyright policy

Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United Sates (title 17, U.S. Code) to the authors and creators of original works of authorship including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works.  It is illegal for anyone to violate the rights provided by the copyright law to the owner of the copyright.    Mere ownership of a book, manuscript, painting, music CD, or DVD does not give the possessor the copyright. 

Holy Spirit Library is the central point of information dissemination on the Cabrini College campus.  The Library is the first place students, faculty, and staff turn when searching for appropriate scholarly information.  The staff members of Holy Spirit Library take seriously the responsibility to provide information to the campus community while respecting current copyright law.  The Library encourages all members of the College community to respect the rights of copyright holders while exercising user rights to use copyrighted material in all of their teaching, learning, and research endeavors (“fair use”). 

Cabrini College and Holy Spirit Library are bound by copyright law of the United States which governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material.  Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction.  One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is to be “used for … private study, scholarship, or research.”  If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of “fair use,” that user may be liable for copyright infringement.

copyright protection or public domain
Some categories of publications are in the public domain and can be freely used and copied:

  • Works published in the United States before 1923.
  • Works published in the United States between 1923 and 1963 with an original copyright notice that has not been renewed.
  • Works published in the United States between 1923 and 1978 without an original copyright notice.
  • Works published in the United States between 1978 and March 1, 1989 without an original copyright notice or copyright registration.

If a publication does not meet any of these criteria, it is not in the public domain, and the copyright holder is protected under law.  Publication is not essential for copyright protection, nor is the well known symbol of the encircled "c".

Section 106 of the Copyright Act (90 Stat 2541) generally gives the owner of copyright (and only the owner) the exclusive right to do and to authorize others to do the following:

  1. Reproduce copies of the work.
  2. Prepare derivative works based on the copyrighted work.
  3. Distribute copies of the work by sale, rental, lease, or lending.
  4. Publicly perform the work (if it is a literary, musical, dramatic, or choreographic work or a pantomime, motion picture or audiovisual work).
  5. Publicly display the work (if it is a literary, musical, dramatic, choreographic, sculptural, graphic, or pictorial work -- including the individual images of a film -- or a pantomime).

determining fair use

The Copyright Act of 1976, Section 107 created standards for conditions that constitute “Fair Use" Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other mean specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright.  In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include:

  • The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purpose. 

A word of caution: several courts have held that absence of financial gain is insufficient for a finding of fair use.

  • The nature of the copyrighted work (especially whether creative or informational).  

Photocopies of a newspaper article are more apt to be considered “fair use” than photocopies of a short story or poem. 

  • The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole. 

The smaller the portion, the more likely it is to be “fair use.”

  • The effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work. 

Probably the most important: if the reproduction of a copyrighted work reduces the copyright holder’s potential for sales and profit, the use is unlikely to be “fair use.”

guidelines for classroom copying
A single copy may be made by a faculty member for his or her scholarly research OR for use in teaching:

    • A chapter from a book
    • An article from a newspaper or periodical
    • A short story, short essay, or short poem, whether or not from a collective work
    • A chart, group, diagram, drawing, cartoon, or picture from a book, periodical, or newspaper.

DVDs for classroom use

Viewing a DVD from Holy Spirit Library or from a local video rental store is permissible under current copyright law as part of a face-to-face class meeting.  In the case of a virtual class, viewing a DVD is permissible under the Teach Act (see below) assuming that the work is essential to the class to meet teaching goals.  The work should be password protected to ensure that only students enrolled in the class will have access to the video.  Furthermore, the video should have a limited availability, preferably only visible during the scheduled class time and limited to streaming video.  As with any copyrighted work, a copyright notice should be visible to all students.  Classroom screening of copyrighted material does not require performance licensing as long as it meets “fair use” provisions

Section 110 (1) of the Copyright Act
Performance or display of a work by instructors or pupils in the course of face-to- face teaching activities of a nonprofit educational institution, in a classroom or similar place devoted to instruction, unless, in the case of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, the performance, or the display of individual images is given by means of a copy that was not lawfully made...and that the person responsible for the performance knew or had reason to believe was not lawfully made.

Viewing Videos and DVDs Outside the Classroom
Viewing a DVD outside of the classroom either in the Library, residence hall, or office is permissible so long as it is in a small group setting.  Large group viewings in a residence hall lounge or other large public room on campus may be considered a public performance by the copyright holder.  This circumstance may require permission from the copyright holder in the form of public performance rights.

Video Recordings/Off-Air Recording for Classroom Use
Guidelines have been created for the educational and scholarly use of off-air recording as follows:

  • Only recorded programs that are broadcast for the general public, not programs from paid cable television channels, are permissible.
  • The recording must be shown within ten school days of the tapping.  After the ten day period, the recording can only be viewed for evaluation purposes and must be destroyed within 45 days of original broadcast.
  • The recorded program may not be altered.

Reproducing Copyrighted Works
Libraries or archives may reproduce copyrighted works for the purpose of preservation, scholarship, or research provided that the work is no longer available commercially, a new copy cannot be obtained at a reasonable price, or that the copyright owner or its agent provides notice that either of the above conditions applies.

guidelines for using print reserves

Holy Spirit Library offers Print Reserve service.  When submitting items for reserve, please allow ample time for library staff to process your request. We ask that you allow two working days for the Library place all items on reserve.

In addition:

  • No more than 25 copyrighted items will be placed on reserve for a single course.
  • Please include a copy of your course syllabus with your reserve items.
  • All items for print reserve must be accompanied by a complete bibliographic citation. Include the bibliographic citation on the first page of photocopied journal articles or include the title page and verso for photocopied book chapters.
  • Be advised that all materials will be removed from the Reserve Desk shelves at the end of every semester.  Instructors should make arrangements to collect any personal items at the end of the semester. 

If you would like to use the same items the following semester for another course, you need to inform the Holy Spirit Library.

Materials accepted reserves:
print reserves

  • Library or Instructor owned books, periodicals, CDs, DVDs, and videos.
  • One chapter from a copyrighted book or a portion of a book no more than 15% of the entire work.
  • One article per journal issue.
  • Material created by the Instructor (syllabus, lecture notes, PowerPoint presentations, tests, etc.).
  • Student created works (accompanied by a signed consent form).

If you would like to use an item that does not meet the “fair use” provisions, the Library will attempt to obtain copyright clearance through the Copyright Clearance Center and bill your department for the cost.

disclaimer:  The Library Director reserves the right to refuse items for reserve, if in her judgment the items do not meet the fair use provisions set forth in the United States Copyright Act of 1976 (Section 107) described above.

Alternatives to Print Reserves
Print reserve service is not a substitute for the creation of a course pack or for obtaining copyright clearance. The total number of items placed on reserve should be a small percentage of the entire course’s readings.  If you will be using the same items in subsequent semesters for your course or have created an anthology of readings that could be considered a substitute for a textbook, consider creating a course pack. The campus bookstore is able to provide this service.  They will obtain copyright clearance, reproduce and package your items for sale in the bookstore. The bookstore can be reached at 610.902.8526. 

Requiring that students purchase materials is still a viable option.  Many online bookstores offer discounted rates for students to purchase educational materials.

online courses and the TEACH Act

In November, 2002, a bill was signed into law that helps faculty members use copyrighted materials in online education.  This bill, the Technology Education and Copyright Harmonization Act, permits professors to use materials free of charge without having to ask permission of copyright holders under specific conditions.

A Copyright Checklist for Online Courses
These criteria must be met:

  1. The College must be accredited and nonprofit.
  2. The College must have an internal policy on use of copyrighted material and on copyright law.
  3. The College must make educational materials on copyright available for use.
  4. The work must not have been intended originally for educational use.
  5. The work must have been acquired lawfully.
  6. The work must be integral to the class session.
  7. The work must be part of instructional activities.

8.    The work is directly related to teaching.
9.    The work is one of the following:
                        A Non-dramatic literary work (instructor may use all)
                        A non-dramatic musical work (instructor may use all)
                        A reasonable and limited portion of any other work or
                        The display of a work in an amount analogous to the classroom setting.
10.  Access is restricted to students enrolled in the course.
11.  Controls prevent students from disseminating the material after viewing.
12.  Converting from analog to digital:            
                        No digital version is available to the College or
                        The available digital version is technologically protected.
13.  Students are informed that the material may be protected by copyright law.

Selected Resources available at Holy Spirit Library

Baez, Benjamin.  Intellectual property in the information age: knowledge as commodity and its legal implications for higher education. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2009.
KF2994 .I58 2009

Bielefield, Arlene. Technology and copyright law: a guidebook for the library, research and teaching professions.  2007.  New York: Neal Schuman Publishers.
KF 3030 .1 .B533 2007

Center for Intellectual Property in the Digital Environment.  Colleges, code and copyright: the impact of digital networks and technological controls on copyright and the dissemination of information in higher education.  2005. Chicago: Association of College and Research Libraries.
KF2995 .C74 2005

Crews, Kenneth D. Copyright law for librarians and educators: creative strategies and practical solution.  2006 Chicago: American Library Association.
KF2995 .C74 2005

Heller, James S.  The librarian’s copyright companion.  2004.  Buffalo, N.Y.: W.S.Hein.
KF2995 .H45 2004

Hoffman, Gretchen McCord. Copyright in cyberspace: Questions and answers forlLibrarians.  New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, 2001.
KF3030.1 .Z9 H64 2001

Lathrop, Anne.  Guiding students from cheating and plagiarism to honesty and integrity: strategies for change. Westport, CT : Libraries Unlimited, 2005.
LB3609 .L27 2005

Lipinski, Tomas, A.  The complete copyright liability handbook for librarians and educators.  New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, 2001.
KF3080 .L57 2006

Litman, Jessica. Digital Copyright: Protecting Intellectual Property on the Internet. Amherst: Prometheus Books, 2001.
KF3030. 1. L58 2001

Wherry, Timothy Lee. The Librarian’s Guide to Intellectual Property in the Digital Age: Copyrights, Patents, and Trademarks.  Chicago: American Library Association, 2002.
Z688 .P36 W33 2002

electronic resources

United States Copyright Office

Stanford University Library: Copyright and Fair Use

When Works Pass Into the Public Domain

Campus Guide to Copyright Compliance

CONFU: The Conference on Fair Use

Copyright Clearance Center

Copyright Decision Map

Electronic Frontier Foundation

University of Minnesota Copyright Information & Education

Copyright Tutorial