Copyright Policy

Approved 05 May 2016

University of Saint Francis Copyright Policy

The University of Saint Francis holds that the creation, discovery and dissemination of knowledge are central to the success of the University’s mission.  The University has an interest in the protection of copyrighted works and in the use of copyrighted works in the pursuit of learning, discovery and engagement.

Protection of copyrighted works is provided by the laws of the United States and international treaties and conventions. Copyright protection applies to original works of authorship that are fixed in any tangible medium of expression. Both published and unpublished works in any medium generate protection from the time of creation. Software code is a copyrightable work.

Copyright owners are granted exclusive rights of reproduction, distribution, public display, public performance and the preparation of derivative works. However, these rights are not unlimited in scope. Certain provisions of the Copyright Act establish limitations on these rights so that the public can use copyrighted works for specific purposes.

University faculty and staff using copyrighted works must understand and apply the exceptions and limitations of the Copyright Act. The appropriate use of copyrighted works reduces both institutional and individual legal risk and is critical for academic integrity.

All University faculty and staff using copyrighted materials are responsible for ensuring compliance with applicable copyright law, including making an initial good faith determination as to whether or not the desired use is within one of the exceptions to the copyright law, such as the fair use exemption.  The University does not assume legal responsibility for any independent application of copyright principles made by University faculty and staff that are not in good faith or that do not otherwise comply with this policy or the guidance provided by or determinations made by the University.  Permissions must be obtained in all instances where the employee determines in good faith that the desired use falls outside of the applicable copyright law exceptions or other applicable limitations on the rights of copyright owners.

University Faculty and Staff are responsible for:

  1. Making a good faith determination that proposed use of copyrighted work is in compliance with applicable copyright laws.
  2. Notify the University’s Director of Library Services if there is a dispute relating to the use or proposed use of copyrighted materials.
  3. Consult with the University’s Director of Library Services when in doubt on the application of copyright laws.
  4. Obtain permission from the copyright holder when the use of copyrighted material exceeds the exceptions provided by the Copyright Act or when such use is not in compliance with the applicable copyright laws.

The University’s Director of Library Services will be responsible for:

  1. The administration and interpretation of the University’s Copyright Policy.
  2. Provide guidance to faculty and staff on the appropriate interpretation and application of copyright laws.
  3. Oversee the staff who review courses in any technology system (e.g. Blackboard, Capital Education or others to assure correct copyright compliance.
  4. Implement education and awareness programs.
  5. Work in coordination with the Office of Risk Management and the Office for Academic Affairs to determine the effect of case law and statutory changes that are likely to have a material impact on the University and higher education in general.
  6. Determine appropriate uses of copyrighted works in the event of a dispute.
  7. Work with the Office of Risk Management and Office for Academic Affairs for addressing any appeals by staff and faculty regarding the use copyrighted material.

In the event that a staff or faculty member disagrees with the interpretation of applicable copyright law by the Director of Library Services the staff or faculty member may appeal the decision.  During the appeal process the Director of Library Services, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Director of Risk Management will review the use or proposed use of copyright material to determine if its use will be permitted.  The determination made during the appeal process will be final.