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Copyright Policies

It is the policy of the University of Fairfax that all members of the university community (students, faculty and staff) must comply with the US Copyright Law.

Use of Licensed Documents

The University subscribes to a number of sources for content published in scholarly journals, conference proceedings, and trade publications, providing access to these resources via the Library Portal. By virtue of these subscriptions, students may download articles and use them for course assignments without paying additional fees. Faculty identifying specific articles for use within a course, will direct students to retrieve these articles from the library portal, rather than posting them in the course shell.

Fair Use Standards

Faculty and staff are permitted to use and distribute copyrighted materials of other parties for educational and classroom uses, provided such activities are within the fair use standard. An article used once within the context of a classroom may fall within the standard of fair use; however, repeated use of the same article in subsequent courses would not. In those cases students may be required to purchase these materials if not available through subscription services as described above.

Documents without Limitations

Government publications, documents in the public domain, or documents that are out of copyright may be used freely within the context of a course, with no limitations on their distribution.

Software Distribution

Software that has been copyrighted cannot be distributed to members of a course. Students must purchase individual licenses for personal use.  Software distributed as part of a textbook bundle can be used by the individual purchasing the text, and should not be installed on multiple computers or shared among students.  Faculty utilizing open source software within the context of a course will not distribute the software directly. Links to authorized sources of the software will be made available within the Webliography of a course shell.

Distribution of Authored Materials

Copyrighted materials may be copied freely by the owner of the copyright on the materials. Authorship conveys no right to copy material that has been published by a party other than the author. Permission must be granted by the publisher for copying any published materials used on a repetitive basis, or arrangements for purchase must be made. 

Other Documents

In cases where use of a document does not fall within Fair Use standards, or has not been licensed for online use, faculty members must alert the DASSA prior to its use to seek permission rights or arrange for purchase of the materials.