Library - Copyright Information

Introductory Note on Blackboard
As a general rule, materials posted on Blackboard fall under Title 17 of the United States Copyright Act, the same law that pertains to all published materials, regardless of format. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) passed in 2000 governs digital media. The TEACH (Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization) Act was passed in 2002 to clarify Fair Use in distance education and online courses, as well as use of reproductions of visual and sound media.
Faculty members need to be aware that copyright restrictions apply to most materials they post on Blackboard and thus are responsible for ensuring that they are in compliance with copyright law.
The answers to the questions below have been culled from commonly understood best practices in educational institutions.  The intention is to provide a framework and guidelines for faculty to assist them in copyright compliance.
Do I need copyright permission to post articles on Blackboard for my students to access?
Materials posted on Blackboard must be in the legal possession of the Library, faculty member, or Benedictine College, including, when necessary, legally obtained permission from the copyright holder of a given work.
For example, you may post a link in Blackboard to a journal article or e-book in a Library-owned database such as EBSCO, JSTOR, CIAO, Ebrary, etc. or to an online journal subscribed to by the faculty member or department.
It is commonly understood that the faculty member and each student may print one copy for personal use.
Blackboard normally eliminates the need to email course materials to students.
Otherwise, you may download on copy of the article to your computer for personal use, however downloading the article and posting the full text .PDF on Blackboard is discouraged.
Can PDFs of book chapters be posted on Blackboard?
A scanned chapter from a book under copyright protection can be posted on Blackboard for one semester without permission. Continual use from semester to semester without permission violates copyright law, thus permission needs to be secured from the publisher or copyright holder. Unfortunately, such permission can take months to secure.
Complete works (book, journal issue, DVD) should not be posted or linked to without permission)
If a book has hand-outs and exercises on a web site, can I download, photocopy, and distribute to the class these online resources?
Provided that the book in question falls within the legal framework outlined above, you may post a link to the website in Blackboard. Copying and pasting the content of the web site or e-book into Blackboard is discouraged as a likely violation of copyright.
Will faculty have to secure their own permission to use copyrighted texts, or will there be a person at the College who has this responsibility? Will IKON secure permissions? 
At the present time, each faculty member is responsible for securing proper copyright permissions for course materials.  Akademos, the Virtual Bookstore offers a copyright clearance service for textbooks and course packs. Faculty are encouraged to use this service. Specific questions on creating course packs should be directed to Cory Cardona,, ext. 7373. Faculty are free to consult other clearing houses such as Copyright Clearance Center at in order to obtain permissions to post copyrighted material on Blackboard.
IKON follows Copyright law with regard to photocopying practices, but does not function as a clearinghouse for copyright permissions.
I often place items on reserve in the library for students to read. I have heard that some students simply make copies to take to their dorms to read.
The Library routinely makes copies of reserve articles for student at the Circulation Desk upon request. So long as the Library or professor subscribes to the journal a single copy is allowed for the student. In this vein, library copying is generally covered under Fair Use provisions.

For articles I use recurrently, does copyright law imply that I will need to add the texts in which these articles appear to the list of books students must purchase for the course?
Requiring your students to purchase these texts would be the safest and surest way to proceed, if you are routinely using chapters from specific books or textbooks.
If the Library or you have a subscription to a periodical, you may distribute one copy to your students or place a copy on reserve.
What materials are considered to be freely accessible and in the “public domain”?
Any work published in the United States before 1923 is in the public domain.
Works published from 1923 through 1978 are protected for 95 years from the publication date, if proper copyright formalities were followed.
Works published after 1989 are assumed to have copyright protection and do not need to have a copyright notice per se.
What is the doctrine of “fair use” and how is it defined?
The Fair Use doctrine in U.S. Copyright law allows for limited use of copyrighted material for educational or scholarly purposes without requiring permission from the rights holders. Fair Use is based upon a four-factor balancing test:
  • Purpose and character of the work, i.e. is it being used for commercial or educational purposes
  • The nature of the copyrighted work
  • Amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole
  • The effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work
What is prohibited?
  • Substitutions
  • Consumable or for profit copying
  • Charging students beyond the actual cost of the photocopying