Policy on the Use of Copyrighted Works for Education and Research
1.1. ACE will take appropriate measures to ensure that its students, faculty and staff are aware of
copyright laws, regulations and agreements and can act responsibly as they use information
that is owned by others in the course of teaching, learning, research or administration of the
1.2. All members of the ACE community are required to comply with copyright laws. Federal
copyright laws provide valuable protection to the authors of original works, and ACE expects all
members of the ACE community to respect those rights. Copyright laws also permit users of
copyrighted works to make fair use of copyrighted materials under some limited circumstances.
ACE works to make fair use of copyrighted materials under some limited circumstances.
1.3. ACE is committed to fully support the fair use of copyrighted works by the ACE community
under the provisions of applicable laws. The ACE community is expected to have knowledge of,
and make reasonable application of, the four factors of fair use.
1.4. Failure to comply with copyright laws and to act in good faith in the fair use of copyrighted
materials will result in an ACE community member assuming liability for his or her actions and
may result in disciplinary action.
2. Copyright Protections and Fair Use Principles
To help members of the ACE community understand and comply with copyright laws, this policy
summarizes basic principles of copyright law including the application of the fair use balancing
test. A fair use of a copyrighted work depends upon a specific determination based upon the
circumstances of the use.
2.1. Principle 1: The copyright owner has important and exclusive rights. Copyright law protects
original works such as films, writings, music and visual arts by giving the copyright owner a set
of exclusive rights in that work. These rights include the right to distribute, copy, adapt,
perform, display and create derivative or collected works. In general, any use of copyrighted
materials requires permission from and maybe payment of royalties to the copyright owner
unless the use falls within a fair use exemption.
2.2. Principle 2: ACE community members must make good faith efforts to understand the
fundamentals of copyright laws and the reasonable application of fair use. When ACE
community members plan to use a copyrighted work in their teaching or research, they must
examine the specifics of their use within the context of the law in order to determine whether
they should seek permission for the use or depend upon a fair use exemption.
2.3. Principle 3: A proper determination of fair use requires applying the following four factors:
- purpose or character of the use;
- nature of the copyrighted work being used;
- amount and substantiality of the work being used; and
- effect of the use on the market for or value of the original.
2.4. Principle 4: Nonprofit educational purposes are generally favored in the application of the four
factors of fair use, but an educational use does not by itself make the use a “fair use.” The
educational purpose of ACE will usually weight the first of the four factors in favor of fair use.
However, an educational use does not mean that the use is, by that factor alone, a fair use. All
four factors must be weighed in making that decision.
2.5. Principle 5: By acting responsibly and making considered decisions, you can limit your potential
liability. Congress provides significant protection for educators. Educators must hold a
reasonable and good faith belief that their activities are fair use in light of the four factors.
Educators are advised to carefully document their application of the four factors of fair use to
their specific use in order to demonstrate that the activities were done in good faith.
3. Obtaining Copyright Permission
3.1. To the extent that a member of the ACE community does not think their use of copyrighted
material would fall under a fair use exemption, the ACE community member is responsible for
obtaining or arranging to obtain copyright permission. Please submit requests for permissions
at least six weeks before the material is needed to the Director of the ACE Library as the
process can be slow, especially when dealing directly with a publisher. If permission is denied,
or cannot be obtained in time, alternate material must be found.
RELEVANT COPYRIGHT LINKS
U.S. Copyright Office - Library of Congress
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office - Department of Commerce
Distance Education and the Teach Act - American Library Association
Fair Use - (Copyright) Library of Congress