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Copyright Policy

The following is a summary of certain copyright responsibilities and is intended for general information only and therefore cannot be used to determine the legality of an intended use of materials. For more detailed information, please consult the CCS Copyright Compliance guide.

Copyright Basics

Copyright is part of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code) and international law that grants rights and protection to authors and developers of creative works. Among the rights granted are the rights to:

  • reproduce the work,
  • prepare derivative works based upon the work,
  • distribute copies of the work to the public,
  • perform the work publicly,
  • display the copyrighted work publicly,
  • perform the work publicly by means of a digital audio transmission, and
  • assign these rights to others.

Copyright only protects works that are "fixed in a tangible form of expression." Copyright does not protect ideas or processes (although processes can be patented). To make use of copyright protected material without the consent of the author is a violation of the law. The exceptions to this are:

  • works that have passed into the public domain (over 70 years old), and
  • works used in the manner prescribed under the Fair Use part of the copyright law.

Fair Use

Fair Use of a copyrighted work which is NOT an infringement, including reproduction in copies, includes the following purposes:

  • criticism,
  • comment,
  • news reporting,
  • teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use),
  • scholarship, and
  • research.

In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a "Fair Use", the following factors should be considered:

  • the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit;
  • educational purposes;
  • the nature of the copyrighted work;
  • the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
  • the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

The following is an excerpt from the Board Policy 7.50.20 Use of Copyrighted Materials:

Community Colleges of Spokane recognizes that United States copyright laws exist for the public good and balance the intellectual property rights of authors, publishers, license holders and copyright owners with the educational community’s need for the free exchange of ideas. CCS will adhere to the provisions of U.S. copyright laws, including all relevant copyright and patent laws, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization (TEACH) Act, Guidelines for Off-Air Recording and all other relevant laws and regulations.

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