Section V - Educational Support Services


Copyrighted Materials

To state the College's policies and guidelines for copyrighted materials

Randolph Community College expects that all faculty, staff, and students respect the rights of copyright owners by adhering to United States copyright laws, including, but not limited to, the United States Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. §§ 101 et seq. Copyright infringement is the act of exercising, without permission or legal authority, one or more of the exclusive rights granted to the copyright owner under section 106 of the Copyright Act. These rights include the right to reproduce or distribute a copyrighted work. In the file-sharing context, downloading or uploading substantial parts of a copyrighted work without authority constitutes infringement. 

Penalties for copyright infringement include civil and criminal penalties. In general, anyone found liable for civil copyright infringement may be ordered to pay either actual damages or “statutory” damages. A court can, in its discretion, also assess costs and attorneys’ fees. For more information, see the website of the U.S. Copyright Office at 

Employees or students who are determined by the College to have purposely violated any copyright laws will be subject to disciplinary action. 

RCC will post copyright warning notices consistent with the law on or near all copying equipment. Requests for reproduction of materials which are in violation of copyright law will be denied by the College. 

The doctrine of Fair Use as set forth in the U.S. Copyright Act provides essential limitations to the exclusive rights of copyright owners. Under the Fair Use doctrine certain uses of copyrighted materials may be permissible. Courts consider four factors to determine if use constitutes “fair use”: (1) purpose for which the work will be used, (2) nature of the work being used, (3) amount of the work that will be used, and (4) potential market effect of the use on the copyright holder. Only the courts can provide a definitive answer on fair use; however, there are minimal guidelines for determining if a potential use falls under the doctrine of Fair Use. 

Regardless of these guidelines, it is the responsibility of the employee or student to consult the proper authorities when copyright questions arise. Any College employee or student who knowingly violates this policy does so at his own risk and assumes complete liability. 

Guidelines for Print Materials 

  1. Single Copying for Instructors - A single copy may be made of any of the following by or for a teacher at his or her individual request for his or her scholarly research or use in teaching or preparation to teach a class:
    1. chapter from a book; 
    2. An article from a periodical or newspaper; 
    3. A short story, short essay or short poem, whether or not from a collective work; 
    4. A chart, graph, diagram, drawing, cartoon or picture from a book, periodical or newspaper; 
    5. Multiple Copies for Classroom Use - Multiple copies (not to exceed in any event more than one copy per pupil in a course) may be made by or for the teacher giving the course for classroom use or discussion provided that: 
    6. The copying meets the tests of brevity and spontaneity as defined below; and, 
    7. Meets the cumulative effect test as defined below; and 
    8. Each copy includes a notice of copyright; 


  1. Brevity 
    1. Poetry: (a) A complete poem if less than 250 words and if printed on not more than two pages or, (b) from a longer poem, an excerpt of not more than 250 words. 
    2. Prose: (a) Either a complete article, story or essay of less than 2,500 words, or (b) an excerpt from any prose work of not more than 1,000 words or 10% of the work, whichever is less, but in any event a minimum of 500 words. Each of the numerical limits stated in (1) and (2) above may be expanded to permit the completion of an unfinished line of a poem or of an unfinished prose paragraph. 
    3. Illustration: One chart, graph, diagram, drawing, cartoon or picture per book or per periodical issue. 
    4. "Special Works": Certain works in poetry, prose, or in "poetic prose" which often combine language with illustrations and which are intended sometimes for children and at other times for a more general audience fall short of 2,500 words in their entirety. Paragraph (2) above notwithstanding such "special works" may not be reproduced in their entirety; however, an excerpt comprising not more than 10% of the words found in the text thereof, may be reproduced.
  2. Spontaneity 
    1. The copying is at the instance and inspiration of the individual teacher, and 
    2. The inspiration and decision to use the work and the moment of its use for maximum teaching effectiveness are so close in time that it would be unreasonable to expect a timely reply to a request for permission. 
  3. Cumulative Effect 
    1. The copying of the material is for only one course in the school in which the copies are made. 
    2. Not more than one short poem, article, story, essay or two excerpts may be copied from the same author, nor more than three from the same collective work or periodical volume during one class term. 
    3. There shall not be more than nine instances of such multiple copying for one course during one class term. 
    4. (The limitations stated in 2 and 3 above shall apply to current news periodicals and newspapers and current news sections of other periodicals.) 

Prohibitions as to I and II Above 

The following shall be prohibited: 

  1. Copying shall not be used to create or to replace or substitute for anthologies, compilations or collective works. Such replacements or substitution may occur whether copies of various works or excerpts there from are accumulated or reproduced and used separately. 
  2. There shall be no copying of or from works intended to be consumable in the course of study or of teaching. These include workbooks, exercises, standardized tests and test booklets and answer sheets and like consumable material. 
  3. Copying shall not: 
  4. substitute for the purchase of books, publishers' reprints or periodicals; 
  5. be directed by higher authority; 
  6. be repeated with respect to the same item by the same teacher from term to term. 
  7. No charge shall be made to the student beyond the actual cost of the photocopying. 

Guidelines for Unpublished Works 

Copyright protections extend to a work as soon as it is fixed in tangible form. It is not necessary for a creator to add a copyright notice. According to the law "there is no fair use copying from unpublished materials." This protection extends to a diary, a student's 
notes, an artist's sketches, unpublished photographs, sound recordings, etc. 

Guidelines for Audiovisual Materials 

  1. Off-Air Recording of Broadcast Programming for Educational Purposes 
    1. A broadcast program may be recorded off-air simultaneously with broadcast transmission (including simultaneous cable retransmission) and retained by a nonprofit educational institution for a period not to exceed the first forty-five (45) consecutive calendar days after date of recording. Upon conclusion of such retention period, all off-air recordings must be erased or destroyed immediately. "Broadcast programs" are television programs transmitted by television stations for reception by the general public without charge. 
    2. Off-air recordings may be used once by individual teachers in the course of relevant teaching activities and repeated once only when instructional reinforcement is necessary, in classrooms and similar places devoted to instruction within a single building, cluster or campus, as well as in the homes of students receiving formalized home instruction, during the first ten (10) consecutive school days in the forty-five (45) calendar day retention period. "School days" are school session days--not counting weekends, holidays, vacations, examination periods, or other scheduled interruptions--within the fortyfive (45) calendar day retention period. 
    3. Off-air recordings may be made only at the request of and used by individual teachers, and may not be regularly recorded in anticipation of request. No broadcast program may be recorded off-air more than once at the request of the same teacher, regardless of the number of times the program may be broadcast. 
    4. A limited number of copies may be reproduced from each off-air recording to meet the legitimate needs of teachers under these guidelines. Each such additional copy shall be subject to all provisions governing the original recording. 
    5. After the first ten (10) consecutive school days, off-air recordings may be used up to the end of the forty-five (45) calendar day retention period only for teacher evaluation purposes, e.g., to determine whether or not to include the broadcast program in the teaching curriculum, and may not be used in the recording institution for student exhibition or any other non-evaluation purpose without authorization. 
    6. Off-air recordings need not be used in their entirety, but the recorded programs may not be altered from their original content. Off-air recordings may not be physically or electronically combined or merged to constitute teaching anthologies or compilations. 
    7. All copies of off-air recordings must include the copyright notice on the broadcast program as recorded. 

  2. Reproduction of Musical Works
    1. Permissible Uses 
      1. Emergency copying to replace purchased copies which for any reason are not available for an imminent performance provided purchased replacement copies shall be substituted in due course. 
      2. For academic purposes other than performance, single or multiple copies of excerpts of works may be made, provided that excerpts do not comprise a part of the whole which would constitute a performable unit such as a section, movement or aria, but in no case more than 10 percent of the whole work. 
      3. Printed copies which have been purchased may be edited or simplified provided that the fundamental character of the work is not distorted or the lyrics, if any, altered or lyrics added if none exist. 
      4. A single copy of recordings of performances by students may be made for evaluation or rehearsal purposes and may be retained by the educational institution or individual teacher. 
      5. A single copy of a sound recording (such as a tape, disc or cassettes) of copyrighted music may be made from sound recordings owned by an educational institution or an individual teacher for the purpose of constructing aural exercises. 
    2. Prohibitions 
      1. Copying to create or replace or substitute for anthologies, compilations or collective works. 
      2. Copying of or from works intended to be "consumable" in the course of study or of teaching such as workbooks, exercises, standardized tests and answer sheets and like material. 
      3. Copying for the purpose of performance, except as in 1a above. 
      4. Copying for the purpose of substituting for the purchase of music, except as in 1a and 2a above. 
      5. Copying without inclusion of the copyright notice which appears on the printed copy. 

  3. Reproduction of Sound Recordings, Films, Slides, etc. - The doctrine of "fair use" has application to the reproduction of audiovisual materials. Excerpting small portions of the works for educational purposes would be permitted using the same guidelines as established for print materials. 
    1. Prohibitions 
      1. An audiovisual program (cassette recording, filmstrip, film, videotape, disc recording, etc.) may not be duplicated in its entirety. 
      2. The format of an audiovisual program may not be changed where duplication is involved. (Ex. A disc recording may not be reproduced in cassette format.) 
      3. Changes of format which result in derivative works are prohibited. (Ex. While it is usually permissible to convert a filmstrip to a slide set, it would be a violation to edit the set in such a way as to substantially change the original content.) 
      4. Copies of unpublished cassette recordings may be duplicated only when it can be established that the creator has given permission for such duplication. 

Guidelines for Peer-to-Peer File Sharing 

  1. Peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing is a convenient way for people to share files using an online service. File sharing through a P2P network is not illegal so long as the person responsible for uploading the file has the legal right to distribute that file. However, since authors have the exclusive right to reproduce and distribute copies of their own work, sharing copyrighted music, videos, movies, articles, eBooks, images, etc. without an author’s permission is an infringement of the author’s copyright.

Adopted: 04/15/1999 

Revised: 05/15/2008, 07/20/2023