Blackwell Library

Copyright Symbol image Copyright Information

Salisbury University's intention is that the academic community adhere to U.S. copyright law. These pages provide the copyright policies and procedures of departments, general information, best practices for interpreting the law's provisions, and overall guidelines for protecting and sharing created works as well as appropriately using the protected works of others.

What and Who Copyright Protects

Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States (title 17, U. S. Code, searchable version) to authors of "original works of authorship." including computer software, architectural drawings. literature, music, film, private e-mail, personal letters, web pages, and other intellectual works listed below. The law gives copyright owners exclusive rights to do or to authorize others to do the following:

  • To reproduce the work in copies or phonorecords;
  • To prepare derivative works based upon the work;
  • To distribute copies or phonorecords of the work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending;
  • To perform the work publicly, in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and motion pictures and other audiovisual works;
  • To display the work publicly, in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and pictorial, graphic, or sculptural works, including the individual images of a motion picture or other audiovisual work; and
  • In the case of sound recordings, to perform the work publicly by means of a digital audio transmission (Section 106).

Although other legal protection like trademark, patent, trade secret and unfair competition law may protect other works, what is key for copyright protection is some evidence of creativity (the law uses the word original) and existence in a fixed, tangible medium of expression. An idea for a choreographic work isn't eligible for copyright protection unless it is written down.

What Copyrght Doesn't Protect

  • materials out of copyright (works published before 1923 are in the public domain)
  • works published between 1923 and 1963 with no copyright renewal
  • works published between 1923 and 1977 without a copyright notice
  • the majority of U.S. federal publications (works the U.S. government contracts, however, may be protected along with many state and local publications, excluding laws, court decisions, ordinances, etc.)
  • ideas, concepts, procedures, methods
  • titles, names, short phrases, slogans
  • information that is common property (tape measures, height and weight charts)

Educators and Educational Uses of Copyrighted Works

Frequently, copyright is viewed as a set of don'ts. It is much more than that. It provides a way for authors (professors and students) to identify how works they create can be used by publishers and other members of the academic community. Consequently, it is a tool that the academic community has at its disposal to ensure that works it wishes to share can be shared in specific ways.

While the courts are the final arbiters of copyright law, the law offers educators some use of protected materials for purposes of criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use and online teaching), scholarship, or research. The fair use of protected works for educational purposes is, however, not a carte blanche. It requires careful consideration of how, why, and how much of a work would be used and the effect of that on the person who created it.

Dr. Alice H. Bahr
Dean Emeritus of Libraries & Instructional Resources

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Copyright Symbol image The SU Bookstore and Copyright: A University Partnership

In-House Publications: Lab Manuals & Course Packs

The SU Bookstore secures copyright permissions, pays royalty fees, and arranges for the on-campus printing and sale of publications that the faculty create or assemble for classes. They share a goal: having materials on Bookstore shelves by either August 1 or January 10.

Faculty: First Steps

To ensure that students will be able to purchase publications by August 1 or January 10, faculty should take the following steps at least four weeks before those dates to provide the time needed to secure copyright permission and prepare publications for sale:

  1. Complete a Requisition Form (Bookstore web site, under Faculty). Do this each time, every semester that an in-house publication is needed. If a title is unknown, make a note in the “Comments” area of the form. Return the form to Debbie Johnson at the SU Bookstore.
  2. Complete a Copyright Clearance Form and return it to Debbie Johnson at the SU Bookstore. (Even when materials are original, acknowledgement of that fact needs to be on file.)

Bookstore: Next Steps

  1. Secure written permission to use copyrighted materials. Written permission is required prior to printing materials, which is why forms must be completed early. The process may take up to four weeks.

  2. After securing written permission, assign an ISBN (International Standard Book Number) to the publication.

  3. Send the ISBN to the faculty member’s department and to the University Copy Center.

Faculty/Departments: Next Steps

  1. After receiving an ISBN, complete and send a Work Order, an original, master copy of the publication, and the publication instructions to the Copy Center.

  2. Review the printed publication and return it with a signed proof form to the Copy Center.

Copy Center/Bookstore: Final Steps

  1. Print and then deliver publication to the Bookstore.

  2. Pay publication costs and copyright holder(s) royalties and sell the publication applying the standard textbook margin.

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Copyright Symbol image Copy Center

Duplication Services (the Copy Center) provides photocopying support for University faculty and staff. Every request is handled promptly, but at peak times requests are on a first-come, first-served basis.

When the 1976 U.S. Copyright Law was passed, non-binding guidelines for classroom copying were developed: the Agreement on Guidelines for Classroom Copying in Not-For-Profit Educational Institutions with Respect to Books and Periodicals

  1. The Copy Center applies these guidelines to all classroom photocopying requests.

  2. A release form is required for classroom photocopying requests. The form lists key points in the guidelines and provides space to indicate if permission to use/copy has been secured or isn't needed because:

  • materials are not protected by copyright (e.g., many U.S. government publications)

  • materials are in the public domain (e.g., published before 1923 or now out of copyright)

  • materials meet the preponderance of the fair use factors and therefore qualify as fair use

For questions about the Copy Center, contact Linda Kessinger,

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Copyright Symbol image Media Services


Students should not use copyrighted materials for projects to be aired on PAC 14 or any other broadcasting medium. If students or faculty want to have music in their productions, they can either use copyright free music or purchase it from Gene Michael Production. Since Media Services is part of the Integrated Media Center which collaborates with faculty from Music, Art, and Communication Arts, original music and graphics may be available for video productions.


Videotapes produced by faculty for use in their classes must contain visuals, audio and clips that are copyright free.

Media Services does not duplicate copyrighted videotapes, CDs or DVDs. If faculty gets written permission from the copyright holder, the department will duplicate the medium.


Any videotaping of guest speakers, who come to campus and is video recorded, requires a signed release form.

For more information on Media Services, visit the Integrated Media Center page and/or contact Cynthia Cornish

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Copyright Symbol image The Office of Graduate Studies and Research

The Office of Graduate Studies and Research (GSR) Office staff is anxious to help you in our One-Stop-Shop for grants and contracts located in Holloway Hall, Rooms 261 - 266, please feel free to contact us at any time by calling 410-677-0047.

Dr. Clifton Griffin, Dean, Graduate Studies and Research
Jacqueline Eberts, Director, Fiscal Grants Management
Beth Walsh, Grant and Contract Specialist
Donna Carey, Program Administrative Specialist
Ginger Steelman, Contract and Grant Associate
Jessica Scott, Contract and Grant Associate

Office of Graduate Studies and Research (GSR)

The function of the Office of Graduate Studies and Research (GSR) Office directly supports the University’s mission and strategic plan priorities and reports directly to Dr. Melanie Perreault, Associate Provost in Academic Affairs. Our objective is to strengthen faculty development opportunities; to encourage faculty pursuit of scholarly activity; and to attract and increase external funding for institution-wide reform.

The GSR Office serves as the central administrative office responsible for submitting proposals to state, federal, corporate and foundation sponsors and it implements awards resulting from these proposals. As a service provider, we are devoted to communication between principal investigators, funders, and the coordination of campus resources. Considerable time is spent locating sources of support, communicating that information to appropriate personnel, preparing proposals for submission, interpreting federal regulations and University policy. By maintaining a standard of excellence, we hope to create a campus climate that amplifies everyone’s understanding of available funding and how we can compete in the most effective manner. We facilitate faculty efforts to produce competitive grant and contract applications; this correlates with the University’s increased emphasis on teaching, student learning and undergraduate research.

The GSR maintains a full, Grants for Faculty, resource library. This library includes all standard print reference guides on private foundations, federal bulletins, and public policy directives. In addition, faculty have available to them several databases - SPIN, IRIS, GENIUS, SMARTS - which provide electronic access to funding opportunities. Our staff will assist you throughout the grant and contract process, this includes: proposal development, completion of forms, budget design, securing administrative approvals, application submission, budget modifications, programmatic changes, and monitoring fiscal grants management with timely compliance in reporting. Our website, urs, provides information on the Committee for Human Research, Intellectual Property issues, forms and resources for your convenience.


The GSR research administrators are responsible for assuring that the terms and conditions of awards reflect, protect, and uphold the mission of this institution. Our objective is to protect the rights to data generated by investigators and researchers during the course of the sponsored project, protect the use of that data after the award period ends for education and further research purposes, and assure that the rights to intellectual property created during the course of the sponsored project are clearly understood by all parties.

GSR will identify and evaluate intellectual property concerns with the principal investigators (PIs) at the proposal stage. Since IP requirements are complex, inconsistent from sponsor to sponsor, and highly dependent on the nature of the agreement, there is open communication between the GSR, the Maryland State Attorney General’s Office for legal counsel and the University of Maryland at College Park’s Office of Technology Commercialization located at

For most Salisbury University researchers the dissemination of the research outcomes is of primary importance. The right to disclose and publish research findings is a fundamental tenant of academic freedom. The right to control access to research data, the right to establish productive research relationships and collaborations with various sponsors, and the training and education of students are rights recognized by the University and GSR staff. See the SU Policy on Intellectual Property Rights. It will provide the user with definitions of terms, general provisions including patent ownership, and University revenue sharing guidelines.


Salisbury University (SU) is committed to complying with all applicable laws regarding copyright and patents. SU, as an institution devoted to the creation, discovery and dissemination of knowledge, supports (1) the responsible, good faith exercise of full fair use rights, as codified in 17 U.S.C.107, by faculty, librarians, and staff in furtherance of teaching, research, and service activities; (2) copyright ownership for creative, non-directed works by faculty, staff, and students and University ownership of directed employment-related works; and (3) protection of ownership rights for creators of works that require a different ownership model. SU is further committed to providing educational activities for faculty, staff and students that are designed to explore the law of fair use, to provide guidance in the making of fair use determination and to create an understanding of copyright infringement law.


With respect to ownership of copyrightable works by faculty, staff and students, the University’s IP policy addresses works by category of traditional or non-directed works and directed works. A traditional work or non-directed work is a pedagogical, scholarly, literary, or aesthetic (artistic) work originated by faculty or employee resulting from non-directed effort. Such work may include textbooks, manuscripts, scholarly works, fixed lecture notes, distance learning materials, works of art or design, musical scores, poems, film, videos, audio recordings, software, or other works that have historically been deemed in academic communities to be property of their creator.

Directed works can involve exceptional use of institutional resources including University grants or gifts awarded in support of the work’s creation or a reduction in levels of teaching, service, or other University employment responsibilities. All sponsored or externally contracted works are disclosed to the Office of Graduate Studies and Research (GSR)’ Office of Grants and Sponsored Research by contacting Dr. Betsey Corby at 410-5483894 or Determination of ownership is discussed in Section V. of the University’s IP Policy and reprinted here for your convenience:


  1. Ownership by Creator. Personnel and Students shall have all rights in copyrights of their work, subject to section V. B. below, with the following exceptions.

    1. Scope of Employment. The University owns all rights in copyright for work produced by non-faculty Personnel within the Scope of Employment.

    2. Sponsored Research Agreements. The University owns all rights in copyright for work produced by Personnel or Students under Sponsored Research Agreements.

    3. Signed agreements. The University owns all rights in copyright for all work as stated in written agreements.

    4. Computer Programs and Software. Ownership of copyrighted software and computer programs is addressed in Section VII.

    5. Technology-mediated Instructional Materials. Ownership and use of technology - mediated instructional materials is addressed in this Section (V) the policy.

  2. Right of Use

    1. University rights. The University shall have the right to use and reproduce for research and educational purposes scholarly and original works, whether owned by the University, Personnel, or Students, for which it has provided resources. Faculty members retain all legal rights to protect against the exploitation of copyrighted material owned by the member.

    2. Additional Rights. If the University wishes to secure additional rights in copyrighted work, it shall so specify in writing at the time it provides resources beyond Resources Usually and Customarily Provided or other consideration.

  3. Responsibilities of Personnel and Students

    1. Assignment. For work to which the University has or had rights of ownership or use under this policy, Personnel and Students shall, upon request, execute all legal documents designed to assist the University, or its assignees, in proving or benefiting from such rights, as deemed appropriate by the University.

    2. External Collaborations. See Section IV.C and the Policy on Professional Commitment of Faculty, BOR 41.0 II-3.10.

    3. Use of Copyrighted Materials. All Personnel and Students are responsible for complying with University guidelines on the fair use of copyrighted material and for complying with the requirements of copyright law, including obtaining required permissions to use copyrighted material. Guidelines for the use of copyrighted material are published on the University copyright web site and in the Faculty Handbook, Student Handbook, and in policies maintained in the University Office of Publications.

  4. Responsibilities of the University

    1. Agreement Regarding Use of Resources Beyond Resources Usually and Customarily Provided. When the University authorizes or directs efforts to create a work or works using University resources beyond Resources Usually and Customarily Provided, it shall enter into a written agreement addressing the extent of use of resources, the schedule for the project (if appropriate), control over the work and its revisions, and ownership of the work. When the work done by Personnel routinely involves resources beyond Resources Usually and Customarily Provided, compliance with this section may be accomplished by including the required terms in an employment agreement.

    2. Sharing of Revenue. The University shall remit to creators or their assignees or heirs, their share of Revenue from copyrights as specified in Section XI.A. of this policy.

    3. Use of Copyrighted Materials. The University guidelines are published in the Faculty and Student Handbooks.


Data rights and intellectual property are complex subjects embodied in federal, state, and sponsor language in legally binding research agreements. The National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA) offers the following web sites as resources:

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Copyright Symbol imageBlackwell Library & Nabb Research Center

The library provides copyright information on the web to help the campus community make informed copyright decisions.

In addition to maintaining the University's copyright web site, the copyright policies of University departments, and FAQs, the library will also research and attempt to provide answers to campus copyright questions. Send questions to the Head of Public Services, Mou Chakraborty,

The University's history lab and outreach center for historical inquiry, The Edward H. Nabb Research Center for Delmarva History and Culture houses fragile, irreplaceable materials that require special handling and has its own copyright policy and reproduction policy.

Library Services: Copyright Implications

  • Reserves and E-Reserves. The library maintains a policy of owning all protected materials that it places on e-reserve and will work with faculty to secure permissions for long-term e-reserve use of protected materials.

  • Interlibrary Loan. For journals published five years before the date of an interlibrary loan request, the National Commission on the New Uses of Technology sanctions copying for

    • no more than five articles from any one journal published in the last five years and

    • no more than five requests from one book or other material in any given calendar year

  • Databases and Interlibrary Loan and Reserves. The database licenses the library signs take precedence over copyright law and fair use. Some vendors (BioOne) permit libraries to copy and send articles for interlibrary loan requests and to include full-text publications in e-reserve systems. Others do not (SciFinderScholar).

  • Copying:

    Because the library does not run a copy center, it is rarely asked to make copies of owned materials for faculty, students, or staff. When it does make copies, they include copyright notices (see 3. below). Complete and briefer notices are on all library copying equipment--photocopiers, printers, and scanners (see notice examples below).


The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material.

Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be 'used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research.' If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of 'fair use,' that user may be liable for copyright infringement.

This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law.

Briefer Notice:


Notice on Copies:


Although the library isn't a copy center, under certain circumstances it may copy both portions of as well as entire works for preservation or at the request of library users. These privileges apply to libraries that are open to the public, gain no financial benefit from copying, and post appropriate copyright notices. Sections 108 (b) and (c) are the only parts of copyright law that include non-print materials (pictorial, graphic or sculptural works; motion pictures and other AV works other than news; musical works, i.e. compositions). A helpful online tool, the online 108 spinner, quickly identifies what and when libraries may make copies.

Purpose Material Copies
Scholarly Use Articles
Book Chapters
1 108(d) Copies become user's property & include a copyright notice.
Scholarly Use Any Textual Material 1 108(h) Applies only to the last 20 years an item is protected & only if the copyright owner decides the work has no commercial value. Includes the ability to copy, distribute, display & perform.
Interlibrary Loan Articles
Book Chapters
1 108(g)(2) Not in quantities as to substitute for a purchase/subscription.
CONTU** guidelines, while not law, were included in the H.Rpt to the 1976 law (94-1733-Conf.) and recommended a rule of 5:for journals published in the last 5 years, no more than 5 articles from the same year
User Request
(entire work)
Unavailable Print Work in User's Library Collection or Another Library
1 108(e) Copy become user's property & a reasonable effort is made first to find a new or a used copy at a fair price
Preservation or Security-Deposit in Another Library
(entire work)
Unpublished Work
Print and Non-Print
3 DMCA***
Copies may be digital, but digital copies are limited to on site use only.
Replace Damaged, Lost, Deteriorating Works in the Library & Works in Obsolete Formats (entire work) Published Work
Print and Non-Print
3 108(c) Requires a reasonable effort is made to find an unused/new copy at a fair price and limits digital copies to on site use only. This section allows libraries to replace missing articles, sometimes entire issues if a fair price isn't available. Caution is required in copying across formats. A 78 r.p.m. record cannot be copied if a record player that plays 78s is available at a reasonable price. Obsolete format means that a machine to play it is either no longer manufactured or unavailable at a reasonable price.
Scholarly Use On-Air Straight News Programs 1 108(f)(3) No commercial advantage
Archival Purposes/ Preservation Software 1 117 Owners and libraries (the archival copy may not be used simultaneously with the original)

*** U.S. Copyright Law (1976)
*** National Commission on New Technological Uses of Copyrighted Works (CONTU)
*** Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)

  • Lending Materials
    The First Sale Doctrine has its origin in a 1894 New York Southern District Circuit Court case, Harrison v. Maynard, Merrill & Co., 61 F. 689 (2nd CIR. 1894). When a bindery burned and publishers later learned that surviving copies were being sold by a second hand book dealer, they sued for copyright infringement, even though the binder had sold surviving materials to a book dealer. The appeal to that case established a buyer's right to resell, lend, or dispose of a particular copy of a copyrighted work.

The First Sale Doctrine allows video stores and libraries to lend videotapes, DVDs, CDs, books, and even software, providing that copyright notices are not obscured and licenses circulate with software.

Information Resources

LIBLICENSE - provides libraries with information on licensing digital information.

Know Your Copy Rights - an Association of Research Libraries (ARL) web site for librarians developing positive educational programs for academic users of copyrighted materials in not-for-profit US institutions

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