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Copyright and Plagiarism: Malone Policy for the Use of Copyrighted Material

Basic information about copyright, fair use, and plagarism

Malone Policy for the Use of Copyright-Protected Material

All members of the Malone community are expected to follow U.S. Copyright guidelines in their use of intellectual property. Copyright law grants creators of original works the exclusive rights to reproduce, make derivative works, distribute copies, perform or display their works. Copyright applies to works that are fixed in any tangible form even if the works have not been formally published or registered.

Policy Statement: It is Malone University’s policy to respect and comply with the copyright laws of the United States (Title 17 U.S.C.). Members of the Malone University community who wish to use copyright protected materials are responsible for complying, in good-faith, with all applicable copyright laws.

What is and is not covered by Copyright

What Is Covered by Copyright (section 102.a)

(1) literary works;

(2) musical works, including any accompanying words;

(3) dramatic works, including any accompanying music;

(4) pantomimes and choreographic works;

(5) pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works;

(6) motion pictures and other audiovisual works;

(7) sound recordings; and

(8) architectural works.


Copyright Law of the United States


What Is Not Covered by Copyright

Copyright does not apply to the following:

  • An idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle or discovery (section 102.b)
  • Works for which copyright protection has expired have moved into the public domain
  • Most work created by the United States Government (section 105)


Works in the Public Domain are no longer protected by copyright

  • Works published before 1923
  • Works published before 1989 without a copyright notice
  • Certain works (usually published before 1963) that did not obtain a required renewal

Public Domain

Additional information about Copyright terms and public domain can be found through the following links

Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States

     A comprehensive chart of copyright expiration dates


Welcome to the Public Domain

     A detailed explanation of Public Domain


Despite the protections guaranteed to copyright holders, the law does provide some guidelines that allow limited use for certain purposes including teaching, scholarship, research, and criticism. For example, the law allows the performance or display of a lawfully-made work by instructors or pupils in a classroom during the course of teaching as part of a curriculum at a nonprofit educational institution (section 110.1). In the instance of online instruction, the portions used must be limited to no more than the amount “comparable to that which is typically displayed in the course of a live classroom session” and must also be restricted to the students who are officially enrolled in that course (Section 110.2).

Increasing numbers of authors are choosing to make their works freely available through open access distribution or creative commons licensing. The library has also obtained licenses for the educational use of certain works. Faculty can simply provide links directly to these materials.


About the Licenses

    Information about the various types of Creative Commons licenses


Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA)

    Information about reviewed Open Access publishers


Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)

    Listing of and access to peer-reviewed open access journals

Fair Use

If no other exemptions apply, the law offers four factors that must be considered in determining the difference between an infringement of the law or a fair use of the material. Those factors are listed in section 107 of Title 17:

(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such 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.


It is the responsibility of the faculty, student, or staff member to complete a fair use analysis for every instance to determine if a fair use exemption applies. All four factors must be taken into account in making a determination. The amount used must be the smallest amount needed to achieve the purpose for use, but there are no definitive word or page or percentage guidelines. Several Fair Use checklist links are included below to help the user decide if the use is legitimate and to serve as proof of due consideration if the decision is challenged by a copyright holder.

Fair Use Evaluator

             A tool provided by the American Library Association


Fair Use Checklist

      An explanation and checklist provided by Columbia University Libraries


Thinking Through Fair Use

      A brief introduction and Fair Use analysis provided by University of Minnesota

Seeking Permission

If it is determined that the proposed use of a copyrighted work falls outside of these exemptions or licenses or exceeds fair use guidelines, potential users must obtain permission for use from the copyright holder. Additional information and suggestions can be found through the links listed below.

Any such permission obtained from the copyright holder must be in writing and approved by the Director of Library Services before the copyright protected material is used in any manner by or on behalf of any person or organization subject to this Policy. Verbal authorization from the copyright holder is not acceptable.

The Basics of Getting Permission

     An outline provided by Stanford University Libraries


Asking for Permission

      An overview provided by Columbia University Libraries


Any person having questions concerning this Policy should contact the Director of Library Services, the Provost or the Associate Vice President for Human Resources and Facility Management.