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Copyright Policy

All members of the Christian Brothers University community are expected to familiarize themselves with, and to abide by, the terms of the Copyright Act of 1976 (17 USC, Sec 101 et seq., Public Law 94-553, and its revisions), particularly with respect to Section 107 and its limitations on the reproduction of protected works.

Students are expected to use copyrighted material in legal and ethical ways.

Copyright law is media-neutral and applies to any copyrighted work, whatever the format. Such works can include—but are not limited to—texts, images, audio, video, and software. Copying can occur on photocopiers, scanners, printers, computers, or other networked devices.  See “General IT Usage Policies” (The Compass : Student Handbook, 2014-15, Section X, Part B, pp. 68-69) for more details about copyright and computer use.

All copying is not prohibited. Principles of fair use allow students to make single copies of copyrighted works for their own research and study.  Additional principles of fair use permit students to use copyrighted material in the classroom for presentations or assignments.   However, if that same material were placed on a website, used in a newsletter, or mounted to social media, permission from the copyright holder is required. Without permission, such actions would be infringements and potentially subject to civil and criminal charges.

Note:  copyrighted material found in the licensed databases provided by the Library may or may not fall under fair use unless specifically allowed by the databases’ terms of use/license agreements.

Unauthorized reproduction or distribution of copyrighted materials can incur substantial civil or criminal penalties. Civil copyright damages can range from $750 to $30,000 per work infringed. ‘Willful’ infringement can increase the charge to $150,000 per work, and criminal charges can rise as high as $250,000 per infringement and may include up to 5 years imprisonment as well.

For more information about copyright and the principles of fair use see Plough Library’s Research Guide on Copyright at