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Open Educational Resources: HCC Copyright Infringement

HCC Copyright Infringement

HCC Copyright Infringement Policy

Excerpt from the Faculty Manual

According to the United States Copyright Office, “Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States (Title 17, U. S. Code) to the authors of “original works of authorship,” including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works.

Explanation of Copyrights, Fair Use, and Use of Copyrighted Works
image by Eric J. Heels


This protection is available to both published and unpublished works. Section 106 of the 1976 Copyright Act generally gives the owner of copyright the exclusive right to do and to authorize others to do the following:

  • Reproduce (copy);
  • Prepare derivative works (such as turning a book into a movie);
  • Distribute copies or performances;
  • Perform or display publicly, whether in person or remotely

HCC’s Copyright Infringement Policy states that Hagerstown Community College supports the responsible use of copyrighted materials by HCC faculty, staff, and students as specified by law. This policy includes but is not limited to articles, books, music, photos, videos, and any copyrighted materials published in print or online, or recorded in an audio, video, or digital format. HCC’s official Copyright Infringement Policy can be found as Policy #8074 in the Board Policy Manual available on the HCC website at

Hagerstown Community College complies with the Copyright Act of 1976 including the “Fair Use Doctrine” [17 USC Section 106 and 107 et seq.], the Digital Millennium Act of 1998 [112 Stat. 2860], and the Technology, Education, and Copyright Harmonization (TEACH) Act of 2002 [17 USC Section 110 (2)] in the college’s use of copyrighted works. The college’s policy, procedure, and institutional processes inform members of the college community on compliance practices.

Under United States copyright law, the “fair use doctrine” allows certain specified uses of a copyrighted work without requiring prior permission of the copyright owner under certain limited circumstances. The term “fair use” has generally been defined as the right to use copyrighted works in a reasonable manner without consent of the author. College faculty, staff, or students who make “fair use” of copyrighted works must consider in advance the applicability of the following four statutory factors in making a fair use analysis.

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

Please be aware that copying, displaying, performing, or distributing a work for educational purpose is NOT automatically considered fair use. Multiple factors must be taken into consideration, including the exigency and duration of the use. Please consult the resources below for a clearer understanding of any specific use case.

Any individual member of the HCC community who does not adhere to copyright law may be held personally liable. 

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