Oklahoma Baptist University

Copyright Policy


Copyright is the right to copy or reproduce a work. It is a grant from the government to the author, etc. Therefore, copyright provides to the author, publisher, producer, etc. the legally secured right to publish and sell (distribute) the substance and form of a literary, artistic, or musical work, or to prepare derivative works based upon the copyrighted work. As a result of the new Digital Millenium and Term Extension Acts, nothing written during today's normal lifespan will pass into the public domain for life of the author plus seventy years, unless that right is granted by the author. Copyright now applies to all forms of materials, whether or not there is a copyright notice on the material. Therefore, it must be assumed that all materials created since January 1, 1978 are copyrighted and fall under the protection of the Copyright Law of the United States. Copyright protectable works include: literary works, musical works, dramatic works, pantomimes & choreographic works, pictorial, graphic & sculptured works, motion picture and other audiovisual works - including web pages, web graphics/sounds, classroom presentations, sound recordings, and architectural work designs.

Penalties for copyright infringement are severe. Any person who willfully infringes and violates copyright provisions for purposes of commercial advantage, private financial gain, or by the reproduction or distribution of one or more copies of a work is liable for penalties and damages. Copyright violations may result in penalties of a fine and prison sentence (combined value of work at $2,500 or more - up to five years in prison and $250,000 in fines or combined copied works valued at $1,000 or more within a six month period may result in fines plus up to a one year prison sentence). Statutory damages may also be assessed per act of infringement of from $500 for innocent infringement to $20,000 for willful infringement.

However, from time to time, the faculty and staff of this University may use copied materials to supplement research and teaching. In many cases, copying can facilitate the University's mission. It must be understood that such copying of copyrighted materials is a right granted under the copyright law's doctrine of "fair use" which must not be abused. The purpose of this statement is to provide the faculty and staff of this University, with an explanation of when the copying of copyrighted material in our opinion is permitted under the fair use doctrine. Please note that the copyright law applies to all forms of copying, whether it is undertaken at a commercial copying center, at a departmental copying location, a self-service machine, or by computerized transmission.

When Works Pass Into The Public Domain
Includes material from new Term Extension Act, PL 105-298

Date Of WorkProtected FromTerm
Created 1-1-78 or afterWhen work is fixed in tangible medium of expressionLife + 70 years1 (or if work of corporate authorship, the shorter of 95 years from publication, or 120 years from creation2
Published before 1923In public domain None
Published between 1923 and the end of 1963When published with notice328 years + could be renewed for 47 years, now extended by 20 years for a total renewal of 67 years. If not so renewed, now in public domain
Published 1964-77When published with notice28 years for first term; now automatic extension of 67 years for second term
Created before 1-1-78 but not published1-1-78, the effective date of the 1976 Act which eliminated common law copyrightLife + 70 years or 12-31-2002, whichever is greater
Created before
1-1-78 but published between then and 12-31-2002
1-1-78, the effective date of the 1976 Act which eliminated common law copyrightLife + 70 years or 12-31-2047 whichever is greater

1 Term of joint works is measured by life of the longest-lived author.
2 Works for hire, anonymous and pseudonymous works also have this term. 17 U.S.C. § 302(c).
3 Under the 1909 Act, works published without notice went into the public domain upon publication. Works published without notice between 1-1-78 and 3-1-89, effective date of the Berne Convention Implementation Act, retained copyright only if, e.g., registration was made within five years. 17 U.S.C. § 405.
Notes courtesy of Professor Tom Field, Franklin Pierce Law Center, Univ. Of North Carolina.

Photocopying Of Print Materials

Published writings with expired copyrights may be photocopied without restriction. Please check the above table to verify that the copyright has expired. Please note that, since 1978, materials do not need a copyright notice to receive copyright protection. Therefore, in the absence of evidence of a copyright holder's release, it must be assumed that all works published since 1978 are protected under the copyright laws of the United States. Copyright protection is for the life of the author plus seventy years or more.

Users should also note that renewal of copyrights may be done. It should be remembered that copyrights granted after 1923 may have been renewed; however the writing will probably not contain notice of the renewal. Therefore, it should be assumed all writings dated 1923 or later are covered by a valid copyright, unless information to the contrary is obtained from the copyright holder. Please note the automatic extension of copyright for works published from 1964 to 1977. . Permission in all questionable copy requests must be provided by the copyright holder, if there is such.

Photocopying facilities are made available to users of the Mabee Learning Center with the clear understanding that copying by or for library users does not involve any infringement of copyright. Any copying of copyrighted works without the express permission of the copyright holder must be kept within the limits allowed for "fair use" for the purpose of research or private study.

Generally speaking, "fair use" states that one copy of one article from an issue of a journal can be made for personal educational use, use in teaching, or for research purposes . A single copy may also be made of a portion of a book or monograph not exceeding ten percent of the work. Poems, plays, essays, or musical works are considered as completed works, so specific permission is needed from the copyright holder to copy them. Unpublished material, such as dissertations, manuscripts, and theses, may be copied only with the permission of the author or the copyright holder. Materials copied one time under the "fair use" privilege may not be distributed to others. Single copies from a book or periodical, if used only for your personal research use , may exceed the above limits, if such is destroyed at the close of your research.

If a user is found infringing on copyright, a verbal warning will be given by a librarian for first time offenders and a record may be kept. Repeated offenders will be referred to the appropriate University authorities for disciplinary action.

Classroom Use

Use of an item of material protected under the copyright law must be restricted to the use of the item for one course at the instance and inspiration of the individual teacher. The one copy that may be distributed for each student: (1) must become the student's property; (2) may not be used from one semester/miniterm class to another semester/miniterm class; (3) may be used for only one course in the college or university in which the copies are made; (4) must not be more than one short poem, article, story, essay, or two excerpts from the same author and not more than three from the same collective work or periodical volume; (5) shall not be more than nine instances of such multiple copying for one course during one class term; (6) must have a notice of copyright on the copies; and (7) must be provided to students at no more than the actual cost of the copying.

In addition, the amount of material distributed should not exceed certain brevity standards, i.e. a complete article, story or essay of less than 2,500 words or an excerpt from a larger prose work of no more than 1,000 words or 10% of a work, whichever is less. Each of these numerical limites may be expanded to permit the completion of an unfinished line of a poem or of an unfinished prose paragraph. In the case of poetry, 250 words is the maximum permitted with printing of such limited to two pages. Special works which combine language with illustrations, often for children, may not be copied in their entirety, even if the total number of words is less than 2,500 -- a maximum of 10% of the words may be reproduced.

Copying shall not be used to create or to replace or substitute for anthologies, compilations or collective works. Such replacement or substitution may occur whether copies of various works or excerpts there from are accumulated or are reproduced and used separately. There must be no copying of works intended to be consumable, i.e. workbooks, exercises, standarized tests, test booklets and answer sheets, and like consumable materials. In other words, multiple use copying must not be done to substitute for purchase of books, publisher's reprints, periodicals, or course packs where copyright fees have been paid. In the case of course packs of periodical articles, it should be noted that often professors can get free permission whereas the bookstore or course pack publisher will be charged a fee. Permission to make multiple copies, in excess of fair use copying, may be requested from the Copyright Clearance Center - Academic Permissions Services. Copyright fees collected by the Copyright Clearance Center may range from a few cents per page to $110 per page. Multiple copies must not be directed by high authority and may not be repeated with respect to the same item by the same teacher from term to term. Repeated copies from one periodical or author should not be done without the permission of the copyright holder and payment of any required copyright fees.

It is important that faculty and staff of the University attempt "selective and sparing" use of copied, copyrighted materials. The less you use, the better. If the heart of a work is taken, then fair use or percentage does not apply

Reserve Materials

A faculty member's requests for multiple copies to be placed on reserve should meet the following guidelines: (1) amount of material should be reasonable for the level of the course and assignments; (2) number of copies should be reasonable, i.e. how quickly it will be read - for example, no more than three copies for a class of 30; (3) material should contain a notice of copyright; (4) effect of copying should not be detrimental to the market for the work; and, (5) in general, the library should own a copy of the work. Interlibrary loan may be used occasionally to provide single-copy materials for reserve use.

A faculty member's request for a single copy to be placed on reserve should meet the following guidelines: (1) distribution of the same copied material does not occur every semester; and, (2) copyright notice must be placed on the first page of the portion of material copied. Personal copies of books that the professor has purchased may be placed on reserve, but the professor may not place on reserve photocopies of his personal book or portion, thereof.

Any exception to the above paragraph is allowed only if the library holds the copyright or is granted copyright permission for the periodical article, book chapter or poem. When making the reserve request, the University faculty/staff must indicate when the reserve materials will be removed from reserve. Multiple copies of copyrighted materials placed on reserve, with the exception of one copy for personal teaching or research use, will not be returned to the department or professor requesting the reserve unless the MLC is provided proof that copyright permission has been granted for another term or group of students.

Reserve materials should be directly supported by class objectives, classroom assignments and evaluation since it is usual for only 40% of the students in a class to retrieve and use reserve materials.

If a professor or library staff member is in doubt as to whether a particular instance of copying is "fair use" in the reserve circulation area, it is best to seek the publisher or copyright holder's permission. The Library reserves the right to refuse any request of putting photocopied article(s) on reserve, if, in its judgment, fulfillment of this request would involve infringement of copyright.

Inter-Library Loans

When making an inter-library loan / photocopying request, a requester must declare that the requested material will be used for private research purpose only. Ten percent is the maximum amount of pages / percentage of a journal / book that can be supplied. In addition, only one article in the same issue of the journal can be photocopied and supplied. "Copy supplied for private research only" will be stamped on the photocopies supplied.

A borrowing library may make only five requests from a periodical title each year going back for five years or the most recent 60 months, except in cases where the title is owned but missing an issue, or the title is on order. A maximum of five non-periodical interlibrary loan requests for a specific title may be made during the entire term of the copyright. If the maximum number of interlibrary loan requests for a book or periodical article have been reached, the MLC recommends accessing such in the MLC's commercial databases where copyright fees are paid by the vendor/MLC, the ordering of a copy by the student at the student's expense from an authorized document delivery service, or the purchase of a book by the student or professor.

It should be noted that interlibrary loans are not free. Each interlibrary loan request costs approximately $25-$30 to process, receive and return interlibrary loan materials. Therefore, interlibrary loan should be kept to as low a minimum as possible. Use of the MLC's commercial databases is preferable for both students and professors. What is available online may influence class syllabi and bibliographies.

Media Materials

The MLC is permitted to make copies of videotapes of concerts or productions performed by OBU students and faculty, provided that copyright permission and fees paid to use the materials have been obtained from the copyright holder. Otherwise, no copies will be made by the MLC from complete copyrighted or substantial portions of media materials.

Videotapes obtained from a rental agency that have a "home use only" message or label may only be used in the classroom. They may not be used outside the classroom for entertainment or other non-academic purposes.

Videotaping guidelines for "fair use" of broadcast television programs by non-profit education institutions only includes the following: (1) any TV program may be recorded; (2) retention of such recorded program is for only 45 calendar days; (3) classroom use is allowed for only for the first ten academic days with the remaining 35 days for purposes of evaluation to negotiate a license for retention. Such copies of a broadcast television program must contain the copyright notice on the broadcast program as recorded. Off-air recordings: (1) need not be used in their entirety, (2) may not be altered from their original content, or (3) physically combined or merged to constitute teaching anthologies or compilations.

The Term Extension Act of 1998 does permit libraries, in the last twenty years of a work's term, to reproduce, distribute, display or perform in facsimile or digital form a copy of the work if: (1) the work is no longer subject to normal, commercial exploitation; and, (2) a copy of the work cannot be obtained at a reasonable price. The owner of the copyright notice may provide notice that either of the two above conditions apply. This is strictly a preservation issue limited only to libraries or archives and does not apply to subsequent users or uses.

For purposes of preservation, a library may make copies of phonorecords or other media materials into another format if the original format is considered obsolete. Materials may be considered obsolete if the machine or device necessary to render perceptible a work stored in that format is no longer manufactured or is no longer reasonably available in the commercial marketplace. Although copied tapes in the new format may be circulated, the new Digital Millenium Act provides that only one digital copy of works in obsolete format may be made provided that it is not distributed in the digital format, is not made available to the public, and is not used outside the premises of the library or archives possessing the original work lawfully. It should be remembered that a library should always attempt to buy the media title or work first, unless the format is obsolete.

Electronic/Computer Materials

It should be assumed that all materials found in electronic format on the Web are protected under the copyright law unless a disclaimer or waiver is expressly stated. Before their placement on a web page, the expressed permission of the copyright owner must be obtained for all cartoons, articles, photographs, songs, or graphics scanned in from published works or downloaded from computer or web sites. Software, copyright registered clip art, electronic classroom presentations or local/distance education web pages, and even two or three sentences of intellectual information in a listserv message are considered the copyrighted property of the author. Such materials may not be copied or transmitted in any format until the express permission to use such materials is granted by the author, with the exception of use for personal, private research. It should be noted that digital copying at the present time is far more limited than copying in other formats.

Digital copies of such electronic/computer materials are limited to use within the library building or other building where original materials are housed - they may not be transmitted or downloaded to any other location, or used in any environment or document that provides access outside the library or other building. However, non-profit libraries may lend, lease, or rent copies of computer programs to patrons on a non-profit basis for non-profit purposes as long as the prescribed written software warning is attached to the disk or diskette case and agreed to by the borrower. Any person who makes an unauthorized copy or adaptation of the computer program, or redistributes the loan copy, or publicly performs or displays the computer program except as permitted by Title 17 of the United States Code, may be liable for copyright infringement.

The owner of an original copy of a computer program may make another copy or adaptation of a computer program in only two instances: (1) when it is an essential step to utilize that program in conjunction with a machine, i.e., to load it on a hard drive, to translate from one computer language to another, or to convert from 5 1/4" to 3 1/2" disk; or, (2) when it is for archival purposes, i.e., make a back-up copy.

It is a violation of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act of 1998 to gain unauthorized access to electronic or web resources by circumventing technological measures done by the owner to prevent access. Developing a method to circumvent an author's restricted access is also a violation of the criminal law of the United States.

It should be noted that the Copyright Act is technology neutral, providing only for the copyright protection of works that are "fixed by any method now known or later developed, and from which the work can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device."

Permission has been received from EbscoHost and Gale Company to place periodical articles downloaded from EbscoHost or a GaleGroup database on a web page provided that the professor has restricted access to the article to the current class. Security measures to prevent access by any other class must be in operation before placement of an electronic copy of a work in any directory or subdirectory where such copies may be accessed or downloaded. Each article must include a copyright notice plus a further statement such as: "no further transmission or distribution of this material is permitted." Such articles may only be left on the website for one semester, after which it must be hidden from use unless copyright permission is granted for successive terms through the Copyright Clearance Center or other such service. No copyrighted books, periodical articles, etc. may be placed on an unrestricted web page.

The MLC may make a backup copy of floppy disks accompanying books. Only one copy of such disks will be circulated. Duplication of computer software by users is strictly prohibited.


The above guidelines are meant as examples of copyright policies which the Learning Resources Center is now implementing. As the copyright laws and their interpretations may be changed from time to time, these guidelines do not guarantee safe harbour from copyright infringement.

Further Information

Digital Millenium Copyright Act of 1998: U.S. Copyright Office summary:

The editor of this copyright document attended an excellent workshop on "Copyright Law In The Age Of Technology in Oklahoma City, OK in the fall of 1998. Dr. Laura Gasaway, Director and Professor of Law, University of North Carolina, was the presenter. She has given permission for duplication of specific portions of her workshop text. The following web pages come from her workshop text.

Copyright Law In The Age Of Technology: Agreement on guidelines for classroom copying in not-for profit educational institutions with respect to books and periodicals.
Copyright Law In The Age Of Technology: Library reserve guidelines.
Copyright Law In The Age Of Technology: InterLibrary loan guidelines.
Copyright Law In The Age Of Technology: Videotaping guidelines.
Copyright Law In The Age Of Technology: Guidelines for educational uses of music.
Additional copyright information is available from the Copyright Clearance Center.
Details of Fair Use and U.S. Copyright law are available from Stanford University.