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How to Determine Compliance

Resources for making and tracking decisions about fair use, coursepacks, permissions, the TEACH Act, and other copyright issues
Copyright Office free phone service
Have a copyright/fair use question? You can call the US Copyright Office 800 number, push 3 and get a human being copyright expert!
Is it Protected by Copyright?
(Michael Brewer & ALA Office for Information Technology Policy)
Use this tool to determine whether a published or unpublished work is protected by copyright or in the public domain. This is for works first published in the US.
A Map of Use Issues
(University of Minnesota Libraries)
"There are a lot of issues involved in figuring out if copyright requires you to seek permission (and often, pay a fee) for some use you'd like to make, or if copyright allows you to make the use without permission." The map and outline illustrate how to think through a complex process.
Sherpa/RoMEO: Publisher copyright policies & self archiving
(SHERPA. Securing a Hybrid Environment for Research Preservation and Access)
This site, based in the UK, is designed to assist authors in managing their rights by categorizing rights in a standard format. Authors can view summaries of publishers' copyright policies in relation to self-archiving, check to see if publisher policies comply with funding regulations, and search journal and publisher information by Journal Title, Publisher Name and ISSN. Not all publishers are represented and not all records are up-to-date, but this is a good place to find out which publishers follow "open access" policies more closely.
Jump To: Coursepack Copyright Compliance Guidance : Fair Use Analysis : TEACH Act Analysis
Coursepack Copyright Compliance Guidance
  1. Use the Coursepack Analysis flowchart to determine if your coursepack/syllabus is compliant with copyright law. A coursepack is considered to be a compilation of materials that are handed out to students as part of a mediated class.
  2. This flowchart only covers the topic of copyright compliance. You still must comply, if applicable, with other pertinent policies and regulations, including HIPAA. If you are using actual patient information, data, photographs, or other patient information, you must complete a HIPAA compliance certification available from the MUSC HIPAA officer.
  3. The Fair Use exemption for handouts to students favors a spontaneous desire on the part of the faculty member to use the work of another for timely course related information to the students. Repeated use of the same material (i.e. from semester to semester) is disfavored.
  4. Compliance with Fair Use in a coursepack scenario generally requires that copied materials be provided at cost and not for a profit.
  5. The MUSC Faculty member who creates the coursepack is responsible for complying with these guidelines by following the Coursepack Analysis flowchart and completing the required documentation. If you contribute the work of another to a coursepack, you are responsible for providing to the coursepack organizer assurance that use of the work comports with this guidance.
  6. For additional information or assistance contact the University General Counsel.
Fair Use Analysis
more info Checklist for Fair Use
more info Know Your Copy Rights - What You Can Do
more info Using Copyrighted Works in Your Teaching-- FAQ
TEACH Act Analysis
more info Basic TEACH Checklist: For Institutional Users, Faculty, Staff, and Students
more info Using Copyrighted Works in Your Teaching-- FAQ