Students and Copyright

Although the copyright law does not specifically address student use of copyrighted works the Senate Report accompanying the Copyright Revision Act of 1976 identifies "special uses" by students (Senate Report No. 94-473).

"There are certain classroom uses which, because of their special nature, would not be considered an infringement in the ordinary case. For example, copying of extracts by pupils as exercises in a shorthand or typing class or for foreign language study . . . Likewise, a single reproduction of excerpts from a copyrighted work by a student calligrapher . . . in a learning situation would be a fair use of the copyrighted work."

Based upon this statement, a consensus has developed in higher education that students may duplicate copyrighted works as a learning exercise. This suggests (it is not actually a part of the copyright law itself and has not yet been tested in the courts) that students may integrate all types of materials into sound/slide, film, or television productions and other multimedia products.

Materials may be submitted to the teacher for a grade and they may be shown to the other students in the class, including distance learning transmission over the college's secure electronic network in real time as well as for after-class review or directed self-study. Students may also use them in their own portfolios as examples of their academic work for later personal uses such as job and graduate school interviews. However, the materials will remain the property of the student. They may not be shown, transmitted, or broadcast outside the institution and no copies may be sold or given away.

Students who wish to make copies beyond these narrow constraints, or who wish to make additional uses of their student projects, must get permission for all elements used.

Students should also be familiar with TMC's Media Ethics Policy Computer Services Usage Policy available on The Master's College Web. Students who fail to comply with TMC's intellectual property policies will face appropriate disciplinary action which may include expulsion.