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Winthrop University

Copyright and Fair Use: Copyright Permissions

Repeated Use of Materials

If copyrighted material is used repeatedly, it remains subject to consideration of the four factors of Fair Use. Instructors are strongly encouraged to revisit these considerations anytime they wish to use the same copyrighted materials to support their teaching purposes.

If copyrighted material is accessible in a database to which the library subscribes, URL links to the material can be distributed repeatedly, rather than the material itself, and students may access and download the material using those URLs. 

Permissions payments are the responsibility of faculty members and their departments. Payment procedures may vary by department, but most rights holders or rights clearinghouses (such as Copyright Clearance Center) will invoice the requestor if permission is granted. Fees are usually based on the type of use, number of students enrolled in the course, and number of pages in the reading. In most cases, a license will granted for a single semester and a new request must be submitted for each term in which the reading is to be used.

Student Work

Students hold the copyright to any original works they create. This generally includes papers, tests, emails, theses, dissertations, etc. Keep this in mind before re-using a student's material; such uses are protected by the Winthrop University Intellectual Property Policy. Additionally, instructors should be aware of the role of FERPA in the use of student work

Generally, you can use a student’s work in the class where it was created in any way you and the student wish to, but if you wish to use it in later semesters, you should get a copyright release from the student. You should print it out, fill it out, get it signed, and make sure that you give a copy of the completed form to the student.

Students can also use selections from copyrighted materials in class assignments, so long as they do not further make copies of them or otherwise infringe on copyright. That is, students can use a copyrighted painting or poem or movie clip in a class assignment but isn’t permitted to “rip” illegal copies to watch for entertainment or to share with friends.