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Following Copyright Policies for Heartland Community College

Copyright grants the copyright holder certain exclusive rights to reproduce copies, display the material publicly, etc. However, copyright law also grants exemptions to these rights, which means under certain conditions it is not necessary to get permission from the copyright holder to exercise one of their rights (e.g. to make and distribute copies). The five main exemptions are:

  • Public Domain
    Copyright does expire. Use the copyright chart to determine if the work you want to use is in the public domain. And remember, since 1989, copyright is automatic. Even if the work does not have a copyright statement, it is still protected by copyright law.
  • Reproduction by libraries
    This is primarily used by libraries to facilitate interlibrary loans.
  • Right of first purchase
    This is an exemption from the copyright holder's right to distribution only. It allows libraries and video stores to loan out titles or an individual to give someone their legally acquired material. It does not allow copies of the material to be given away or sold.
  • Public display in the classroom
    This exemption allows videos to be shown during class as long as the viewing takes place face-to-face in the classroom of an educational institution and the video is lawfully obtained. That means you can show videos rented from the local video store, even when they say "For Home Use Only" (as long as you meet the above qualifications). Note: this does not cover distance or online classrooms. See Fair Use.
  • Fair Use
    This exemption is very useful for educational institutions. It is also very subjective and requires the honest application of the Four Fair Use Factors.

If your use of the material does not qualify for any of these exemptions, you will need to get permission from the copyright holder. Contact Rachelle Stivers for permission processes.