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Copyright Guide for DVC Faculty

This research guide is intended to let faculty know the basics about copyright and fair use, and how it applies to their course materials.

Use Library-Licensed Media


Using library-licensed resources avoids the need to perform fair use analyses, or to seek permission from copyright holders.

The DVC Library maintains subscriptions to many electronic resources, including online journals, ebooks, reference databases, film databases, and an image database. These resources are governed by license agreements, which allow the licensed material to be used for educational purposes by "authorized users."
Authorized users are typically defined as DVC students, faculty, staff, and researchers, and walk-in users of the library. 
Most license agreements allow authorized users to:
  • Download, print, and save single copies of items for their personal use.
  • Include links to content on online course pages.
  • Provide single print or electronic copies of individual items to other authorized users for noncommercial educational purposes (including to each student in a class at DVC).
  • Provide single print or electronic copies of individual items to third-party colleagues for scholarly, educational, or research use.
When linking to library-licensed resources, be sure to use the permanent link to the resource taken from the database.

Credits: Adapted form University of Rhode Island. "Fair Use and Copyright for Online Education."

Obtaining Permission - Copyright Clearance Center

In some cases, you may need to research who owns the copyright and make a request to that person or entity directly. In other cases, you may be able to license use of the work through a collective rights agency, such as the Copyright Clearance Center.

Getting Permission from the Copyright Holder

If you have determined that your use is not covered by any exceptions (Classroom Exception, Fair Use, TEACH Act) and that the work is not in the public domain, you will need to ask the copyright holder for permission.


Sample Letter to Copyright Holder Seeking Permission to Copy