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Supporting Documentation for the Policy for the Use of Copyrighted Works

It is the intent of Christopher Newport University that all members of the University community follow the provisions of federal copyright law, including the United States Copyright Act of 1976. Each member of the University community must take some individual responsibility for copyright compliance, and these extensive guidelines are intended to assist each member of the community in this process. In addition to copyright guidelines, this guide contains links to resources to obtain free or open access material.

Information provided in sections of this guide is specific to the type of material being used and/or delivery method.  This information is the result of research and compilation of copyright laws, legal case outcomes, and guidelines published by professional organizations of educators. While not comprehensive, the information is provided to help University members avoid obvious copyright violations. If a particular intended use is not addressed, please consult campus resources such as the Trible Library or University Counsel for guidance.

A comprehensive University Copyright Policy that will address policy compliance and reporting, in addition to this supporting LibGuide, is currently in draft form pending approval. Please refer to this guide as an educational resource to aid in copyright law compliance.


This guide does not supply legal advice nor is it intended to replace the advice of legal counsel.

Please keep in mind - Ignorance of the law is not a defense!

You are responsible for understanding and working within the boundaries of copyright laws.

When in doubt, consult with Librarians or University Counsel.

The Law


Questions to ask before using copyrighted material

1.  Is the work protected by copyright or in the public domain

2. Is there a specific exception in the copyright law that covers my use? (refer to sections 107-111 of link)

3. Is there a license that governs the use of the material (some licenses make fair use not applicable)?

4. Is my use covered by fair use? Conduct a Fair Use Analysis. 

5. Do I need permission from the copyright owner for my use?


Trible Library provides links to other websites to aid in research and is not responsible for the content or privacy policy of those sites.