Copyright Policy

Policy Number: #200

Responsible Executive(s):

  • Provost

Responsible Office(s):

  • Dayton Memorial Library

Date Revised: 05-31-2022

A. Purpose

Regis University follows the laws of the United States, including the Copyright Act, Title 17 of the U.S. Code, and expects all faculty, staff and students to do the same.

Under U.S. copyright law, the owner of copyright in a work, such as literary, photographic, sculptural and musical works, software, motion pictures or sound recordings, has the exclusive right to reproduce, distribute, display, perform and create new works based on the original work. 17 U.S.C. § 106. The owner also has the exclusive right to authorize others to reproduce, distribute, display, perform and create new works based on the original work. Id. The unauthorized reproduction, distribution, display, performance and creation of new works based on an original copyrighted work is copyright infringement. 17 U.S.C. § 501.

The purpose of this Copyright Policy is to lay out a summary of how the Copyright Act applies in an educational setting and provide guidelines to ensure compliance with the Copyright Act without disruption to effective teaching and research within the University.

B. Scope

This Policy applies to all members of the Regis University community, including but not limited to faculty, staff, students and librarians, in any circumstances in which a member of the Regis University community seeks to copy, display, perform or distribute materials subject to copyright that are not owned by such Regis University community member.  This Policy also requires certain activities of faculty, staff and librarians as set forth in provisions C (c), (d) and (e) of the Policy.

C. The Policy 

    1. Copyright Compliance. Users acknowledge and agree that they will not willfully infringe upon the copyrights of third parties.

    2. How to Know if a Work is Protected by Copyright. Under the current law, copyright exists from the moment a work is created, and the copyright owner does not need to register their work with the Copyright Office to claim copyright protection. Works available for download on the internet are likely protected by copyright. In many cases, works are reproduced and posted on the internet without the authorization of the copyright owner. When in doubt, assume the work is protected by copyright.

    3. Obtain Permission. When a User desires to reproduce, distribute, display, perform and/or create new works based on an original copyrighted work, the User must first seek permission from the owner of the copyright. The U.S. Copyright Office provides guidelines on how to obtain permission, which may be found at How to Obtain Permission. Regis University maintains certain license agreements with one or more third party vendors for the use of copyright protected materials by Regis University faculty members in connection with such Users’ websites and/or weblogs. Users should refer to the Regis University Copyright Resource page for more information regarding such license agreements. Other than as may be provided in any such license agreements maintained by Regis University, Users may not copy any portion of a copyrighted literary work on such User’s website or weblog.

    4. Works in the Public Domain. Certain categories of works are not protected under the Copyright Act. These include works that were once covered by copyright, but the copyright has expired or works that were never protected under the copyright law. For any work that falls into one of the below categories, Users are not required to obtain permission before reproducing, distributing, displaying, performing or creating new works based upon such works.

      1. Works Published before January 1, 1978 Without a Copyright Notice. Copyright law has changed over the time. Prior to 1978, in order for a published work to obtain a copyright registration, it must have been published with a copyright notice consisting of the symbol ©, or the word "Copyright," or the abbreviation "Copy.," plus the year of first publication, plus the name of the copyright owner. 17 U.S.C. § 401. The publication of a work without the copyright notice injected the work into the public domain, meaning Users are free to copy, distribute, display and otherwise use the work.

      2. Works with Expired Copyright Protection. The term of copyright protection is finite. Details on how to calculate the term of protection may be found in the U.S. Copyright Office’s circular on Duration of Copyright (  In general, the copyright term lasts for the author’s life (if more than on author, look to the life of the last surviving author) plus 70 years.  For anonymous works, pseudonymous works and works made for hire, the term lasts for 95 years from the date of the first publication of the work or a term of 120 years from its date of creation, whichever expires first.  See 17 U.S.C. § 302.  If the term of copyright has expired, a work is in the public domain and Users are free to copy, distribute, display and otherwise use the work.

      3. U.S. Government Publications. U.S. government publications are documents prepared by an officer or employee of the U.S. government as part of that person’s official duties and are generally not protected by copyright. However, the U.S. government may own the copyright in a work not authored by the U.S. government if copyright ownership was transferred to the U.S. government.  17 U.S.C. § 105. 17 U.S.C. § 101.  Additionally, though a work by the U.S. government may not be protected by copyright, the use of such work may be restricted by other applicable laws. It should be noted that state government works may be protected by copyright and further information regarding specific state copyright laws may be found at the State Copyright Resource Center at Additionally, judicial opinions are generally not protected by copyright law. See Banks v. Manchester, 128 U.S. 244 (1888).

    5. Fair Use. There are some limitations on the exclusive rights of the copyright owner. When a work is being reproduced, distributed, displayed, etc., for purposes of criticism, commentary, news reporting, teaching, scholarship or research, there is no infringement. 17 U.S.C. § 107. Fair use is determined on a case-by-case basis and, therefore, a User should weigh the various factors listed in the Copyright Act to determine whether the intended use of any copyrighted material constitutes "fair use". The criteria of fair use as set forth in Section 107 of the Copyright Act are as follows:

      1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
      2. the nature of the copyrighted work;
      3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
      4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

        Note that not all educational uses of a work are fair.  For example, charging students a fee to purchase a copy of the work that is beyond the cost for the actual photocopying would not be considered fair use. Further, while reproducing a work in a single classroom for purposes of an educational lesson may constitute fair use, the distribution of material to others outside of the lecture or lesson or in future lessons may not be considered fair use. Any serious questions concerning whether a particular copying constitutes fair use should be directed to University counsel.

        A great resource for determining if your proposed use falls under the Fair Use exceptions is the U.S. Copyright Office’s Circular 21 on Reproduction of Copyrighted Works by Educators and Librarians (  Regis University directs Users who would like to reproduce, distribute, display, perform or modify a work to read the entirety of the U.S. Copyright Office’s Cir. 21. In particular, Cir. 21 contains the full text of various agreements and joint letters prepared by groups of teachers and publishers with the goal of clarifying what constitutes fair use.   The guidelines include commentary on the following topics:
        • Single Copying for Teachers; Cir. 21, p. 6
        • Multiple Copies for Classroom Use; Cir. 21, p. 6
        • Percentages of Works that May be Copied and Limitations on Instances of Copying; Cir. 21, p. 6
        • Guidelines with Respect to Music; Cir. 21, p. 7
        • Guidelines for Educational Uses of Music; Cir. 21, pp. 7-8
        • Reproduction by Libraries and Archives; 17 U.S.C. § 108 ( and Cir. 21, pp. 11-13
        • Multiple Copies and Systematic Reproduction; Cir. 21, pp. 13-14

    6. Fair Use and Software. Users who have purchased a software product are granted a license to use the physical copy of the purchased software. Such a license does not include the right to reproduce, distribute, reverse engineer or modify the software.  However, Users of a purchased software product may do the following without authorization from the copyright owner:
      1. Make a copy or adaptation of the software when doing so is required in order to use the program with a machine and the copy or adaptation will not be used in any other manner;
      2. Make a copy or adaptation of the software for archival purposes only, and destroying the archival copy should the User no longer possess the original;
      3. Make a copy or adaptation of the software by virtue of activation of a machine for purposes of maintenance or repair of that machine so long as the copy or adaptation is destroyed immediately after the repair is or maintenance is completed; and
      4. Lease, sell or transfer the original purchased software to another party;
        • 17 U.S.C. § 117.

    7. Personal Use. The downloading of software, music, sound recordings and movies, and the public streaming of such works without the permission of the copyright owner may constitute copyright infringement.  When downloading digital media on campus or using Regis University’s computers or internet, Users shall ensure they have the necessary permissions to download works.  Further, Users shall not copy, distribute or publicly stream any copyrighted works without first obtaining permission.

    8. Use of Copyrighted Materials for Distance Education: The TEACH Act, which is codified in Section 110(2) of the Copyright Act provides for the following:

      • Without obtaining the permission of the copyright owner, the following activities are permitted by the TEACH Act:
        • An entire performance of a non-dramatic literary work (e.g. a poetry or short story reading)
        • An entire performance of a non-dramatic musical work (all music other than opera, music videos, and musicals)
        • A performance of any other work, including dramatic works and audiovisual works, but only in "reasonable and limited portions"
        • A display of any work in an amount comparable to that which is typically displayed in the course of a live classroom session
      • The following works are excluded by the TEACH Act:
        • Works produced or marketed "primarily for performance or display as part of mediated instructional activities transmitted via digital networks." For example, uploading materials specifically marketed as distance education courses.
        • Works produced "not lawfully made and acquired" under the U.S. Copyright Act if the instructor or the institution know or reasonably should know the materials were not lawfully made or acquired.
        • Uploading material such as textbooks, course packs or other resources typically purchased by students to review outside the classroom. Any uploading of material for non-classroom study purpose must comply with the copyright laws, including fair use principles and the University's e-reserve policies.
      • Works for display may be digitized from an analog format provided that:
        • No existing licensed digital copy is available for use at the University, or it is secured behind technological protection preventing accessibility in the online program
        • The amount is limited to that which is necessary for the instructional activities
      • For the TEACH Act to apply, all of the following criteria must be met. The performance or display must be:
        • A regular part of systematic mediated instructional activity
        • Made by, at the direction of, or under the supervision of the instructor
        • Directly related and of material assistance to the teaching content of the course
      • Further, the following technological restraints must be in place:
        • The content must be accessible only to those students who are enrolled in the course
        • The content must be accessible only for the duration of a class session
        • To the extent technologically possible, the content must be protected from further distribution
        • To the extent technologically possible, the content must not be subject to retention by the students
        • The content must not interfere with technological measures taken by copyright owners to prevent retention and distribution
      • All materials displayed under the TEACH Act must contain the following notice:
        • The materials found in this course are only for the use of students enrolled in this course for purposes associated with this course and may not be retained or further disseminated. The materials in this course may be protected by copyright; and further use of this material may be in violation of federal copyright law.

    9. Warning of Copyright. The following notice shall be posted on or near all equipment capable of making copies indicating that all copies made on University equipment shall be in compliance with this Copyright Policy. 
      • Notice: Warning Concerning Copyright Restrictions
        The copyright law of the United States (title 17, United States
        Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions
        of copyrighted material.
        Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and
        archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction.
        One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy
        or reproduction is not to be “used for any purpose other
        than private study, scholarship, or research.” If a user makes
        a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for
        purposes in excess of “fair use,” that user may be liable for
        copyright infringement.
        This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying
        order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve
        violation of copyright law.

    10. Records. Regis University expects that adequate records shall be maintained within the appropriate units or departments regarding permissions, responses to requests for permissions, and license agreements.

    11. Copyright Advisors. Copyright advisors shall be named for the University by the Dean of the Library. The duties of the Copyright Advisors shall include monitoring changes in copyright statutes and regulations, acting as a resource to the Regis University community on matters related to copyright for research, classroom, and library reserve use, and providing for on-going copyright education in support of University compliance with copyright. Contact for assistance.

    12. Faculty Websites and Weblogs. Do not assume that fair use applies to all content posted to Faculty Users’ websites and weblogs.  Faculty Users must ensure that any and all copyrighted materials, including but not limited to, excerpts from books, sound and/or video recordings copied or displayed on such User’s website or weblog are copied and/or displayed with permission of the copyright owner and include a copyright notice or attribution, as may be and in the form required by the copyright owner.  If a User is unable to obtain permission or a license to post the work to the User’s website, the User may provide a link to the copyright owner’s own website where the relevant work may be found. 

    13. Liability for Willful Infringement. Regis University places liability for willful infringement of this policy on the User or Users engaging in the copying, distributing, displaying, performing or modifying the work.

    14. Violations of This Policy. In the event a User violates this policy, (1) notice of such violation will be given in writing to the User, (2) the User will then have an opportunity to respond to the notice in writing within thirty (30) days of the date of the notice; and (3) the User will have the opportunity to request review of the claim of violation by a neutral third party arbitrator.

    15. Digital Millenium Copyright Policy. Regis University adopts the following revised policy pursuant to the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) of 1998:
      1. Designated Agent. The Regis University designated agent for receiving notifications of alleged infringement under the DMCA is:
        • Janelle Ramsel, JD, PhD
          Regis University
          Chief Legal Officer
          Office of the President
          3333 Regis Blvd., A-20
          Denver, CO 80221
          Phone: 303-964-538

      2. Claims. The DMCA specifies that all infringement claims must be in writing and must include the following:
        • A physical or electronic signature of the complainant;
        • Identification of the alleged infringing work;
        •  Identification of the alleged infringed copyrighted material
        • Contact information for the complainant including the complainant’s name, address, phone number and email address;
        • A statement that the complainant has a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner or the law; and
        • A statement that the information contained in the complaint notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, that the complainant is authorized to act on behalf of the copyright owner.

      3. Violations and Enforcement. The Designated Agent will follow the procedures outlined in the DMCA upon receipt of proper notification of a claimed infringement. The University reserves the right, at its sole discretion and without notice if it deems appropriate or necessary, to terminate the privileges of any User who is accused of infringing the copyright of a third party and to disable access to material subject to a claim of infringing a copyrighted work as defined under the DMCA. Repeat violators will be sanctioned and their privileges will be terminated, subject to the provisions of Section C(n) of this Policy regarding notice, response and review by a neutral third party.

D. Definitions

  1. “User” or “Users” shall mean any member of the Regis University community seeking to use, copy, perform, distribute or otherwise use material subject to copyright protection. This shall include, but is not limited to, faculty, staff, students and librarians.
  2. “Policy” shall mean this Copyright Policy.

E. Related Policies, Procedures, Forms and Other Resources

  1. Related Policies. [This Section intentionally left blank.]
  2. Procedures. [This Section intentionally left blank.]
  3. Forms. [This Section intentionally left blank.]
  4. Other Resources.
    1. Copyright Act: Title 17 of the U.S. Code (
    2. Center for Media & Social Impact: Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education (
    3. Association of Research Libraries: Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and Research Libraries (
    4. Association of Research Libraries: Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Software Preservation (
    5. Educase: EDUCOM Code – A Guide to the Ethical and Legal Use of Software for Members of the Academic Community (
    6. ALA Copyright Advisory Network: Fair Use Evaluator (

F. End Notes

  • a. This Policy is informed by 17 U.S.C. Chapters 1 through 8, 10 through 12 and 14 through 15. This Policy refers to Circular 21 published by the U.S. Copyright Office.
  • b. This policy replaces the prior Copyright Policy of Regis University.