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Copyright and Fair Use Policy

Policy Author:

Responsible Office – Department:

Effective Date of Policy:

Policy Author: Faculty Senate

Responsible Office-Department: Faculty Senate

Policy Purpose: To establish guidelines for incorporating copyrighted materials into academic lessons in a way that meets federal guidelines.

Scope: Faculty and staff

Policy (Narrative): It is the policy of Daemen University to encourage the incorporation of copyrighted works and materials into the teaching process, provided it is accomplished in a manner consistent with the Copyright laws and this policy. Daemen University has developed this policy to provide guidelines to faculty and staff on the use of copyrighted work. These policies are equally applicable to distance learning courses and compliance is expected. Materials and works covered by copyright should only be used with the permission of the owner or pursuant to the Doctrine of Fair Use or other exception to the Copyright laws.


Fair Use

The Copyright laws allows for limited use of copyrighted materials without permission for certain purposes, including teaching. In order to determine whether the Fair Use exception applies, the following four factors must be considered.

  1. The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is for a commercial nature or is for non-profit educational purposes;
  2. The nature of the copyrighted work (factual, imaginative, combination, etc.);
  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

Every faculty member must analyze and apply these factors to each copyrighted work to be used in every course. If this analysis suggests that the Fair Use exception applies, a record to such effect should be prepared and maintained with the course material. When there is a significant doubt about the applicability of Fair Use exception, permission should be sought.

As an added precaution to insure that copyrights are respected, the following steps should be taken for each course:

  1. No excessive copies of the materials should be made. Copies should be limited to the number of students in the class.
  2. In an electronic environment, passwords or other forms of authentication should be used to limit access to the materials to those enrolled in the course.
  3. Materials that are displayed or distributed should include copyright information.
  4. Materials displayed on web pages should be removed when no longer needed for the course
  5. Students should not be charged for more than the actual cost for copying or otherwise making the material available.
  6. If the material will be used on a regular basis for the course, an attempt to obtain permission must be made.

If you have any questions concerning this policy, direct them to Academic Affairs at (716) 839-8227

Updated on April 3, 2023

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