Kilgore College Copyright Infringement Information

Copyright is a form of protection grounded in the U.S. Constitution and granted by law for original works of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression.  Copyright, a form of intellectual property law, protects original works of authorship including literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, such as poetry, novels, movies, songs, computer software, and architecture.  Copyright covers both published and unpublished works. (U.S. Copyright Office)

Unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material and unauthorized peer-to-peer sharing may be subject to college disciplinary sanctions, as well as civil and criminal liabilities.  Students are expected to abide by U.S. copyright laws. The Director of Watson Library is the college’s designated copyright officer and is available to address questions pertaining to copyright issues.

Duration:  The duration of a copyright is the life of the known creator, plus 70 years.

The duration of a copyright with an unknown creator is 95 years from publication.

Public domain:  Once the copyright has expired, the work is in the public domain and it is not necessary to obtain permission from the owner.  The copyright owner can place the work in the public domain.

Fair Use Guidelines:  A person may make a single copy, for his own use, of an article, short written work, graphic or book chapter.

An instructor may make enough copies of a short work for each student’s class use, IF:

  • A copyright notice is applied to the item
  • There is not enough time to request permission from the copyright owner (it isa spontaneous act)
  • It is a brief portion of the item:
  1. A poem of less than 250 words and no more than 2 pages, or no more than 250 words from a longer poem.
  2. A story of less than 2500 words, or the lesser of no more than 1000 words or 10% of a longer work

The materials copied may NOT be used to defer cost to the students.  If copying the work prevents the author/copyright owner from receiving a profit, it is a violation of copyright law.

An instructor may use the item once.  However, if the item is to be used for future classes, the instructor MUST request permission from the copyright owner and pay any fees for use.  This applies to videos, as well as printed materials.

Recorded Videos:

If you record a television program, you may use it in your class.  However, keep in mind:

  • An individual teacher may show the recording to his/her class only once during the 10 school days after it is aired on television.
  • The recording may only be kept for 45 days after it is aired on television, after which it must be erased.
  • The individual teacher must record the program his/herself.
  • The recording must contain the copyright notice portion of the broadcast.
  • If the individual teacher wants to use the recorded program for future classes, he/she must purchase a copy for instructional use.

Using Articles in Web Courses:

Use the databases:

  • Provide a link to the Randolph C. Watson Library homepage. Tell the student the database in which they can find the article.
  • You may provide a link to the database article ONLY if access will be limited to Web students.  You may NOT provide links directly to articles from a non-restricted website.
  • You MUST provide a copyright notice as part of the web class.

Penalties for Violation of Federal Copyright Laws (U.S. Copyright Office):

Uploading or downloading works protected by copyright without the authority of the copyright owner is an infringement of the copyright owner’s exclusive rights of reproduction and/or distribution. Anyone found to have infringed a copyrighted work may be liable for statutory damages up to $30,000 for each work infringed and, if willful infringement is proven by the copyright owner, that amount may be increased up to $150,000 for each work infringed. In addition, an infringer of a work may also be liable for the attorney’s fees incurred by the copyright owner to enforce his or her rights.

Whether or not a particular work is being made available under the authority of the copyright owner is a question of fact. But since any original work of authorship fixed in a tangible medium (including a computer file) is protected by federal copyright law upon creation, in the absence of clear information to the contrary, most works may be assumed to be protected by federal copyright law.

Since the files distributed over peer-to-peer networks are primarily copyrighted works, there is a risk of liability for downloading material from these networks. To avoid these risks, there are currently many “authorized” services on the Internet that allow consumers to purchase copyrighted works online, whether music, ebooks, or motion pictures. By purchasing works through authorized services, consumers can avoid the risks of infringement liability and can limit their exposure to other potential risks, e.g., viruses, unexpected material, or spyware.

KC Penalties for Violation of Copyright Laws, Including Illegal Peer-To-Peer File Sharing:

Under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA), Kilgore College reserves the right to terminate computing services of users who repeatedly infringe upon the rights of copyright owners. Kilgore College takes copyright law very seriously and prohibits unauthorized duplication and distribution of copyrighted materials, including copyrighted music and video. Sanctions for violations of these policies include:

  • formal warning/written reprimand
  • loss of computing privileges
  • fines
  • dismissal from the College
  • criminal or civil action

KC also employs a number of technical and procedural measures to prevent illegal downloading and distribution of copyrighted materials.