In an effort to assist faculty, students and staff in determining whether and when use of a protected work is a fair use, the Minnesota State system office has adopted the following guidelines regarding the use and reproduction of copyrighted works for educational purposes.

In addition to the guidelines below, the following general requirements also apply when copying or reproducing others' protected works:

Copying for Profit

No Minnesota State Colleges and Universities faculty member or staff person shall copy or reproduce any copyrighted work for use in a profit-seeking venture without the written authorization of the copyright owner and the campus Intellectual Property Coordinator.

Unpublished Works

Unpublished works are entitled to copyright protection and all of the provisions and procedures described in this primer apply to unpublished works.

Commercial Copying

All of the provisions and procedures described in this primer apply to copying and reproduction whether the facilities used for the copying belong to a Minnesota State Colleges and Universities college or university or to a commercial establishment.

Guidelines

In 1975, a group of music educators and publishers developed guidelines for the use of music materials and presented those guidelines to the United States Congress. The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Office of the Chancellor has established the following guidelines based on the guidelines developed by that group.

Conditions Governing the Use of Copyrighted Music Material

Copyrighted music material may be copied and used in the classroom under the following circumstances:

  1. Copying of music material may be done to replace purchased copies in an emergency when for any reason the purchased copies are not available for an imminent performance, provided purchased replacement copies are substituted in due course.
  2. For academic purposes other than performance, single or multiple copies of excerpts may be made, provided that excerpts do not comprise a part of the whole that would constitute a performable unit such as a section, movement, or aria, provided further that, in no case, may more than 10 percent of the whole work be copied and no more than one copy per student shall be made.
  3. Printed copies that have been purchased may be edited or simplified provided that the fundamental character of the work is not distorted or the lyrics altered or new lyrics added.
  4. A single copy of recordings or performances by students may be made for evaluation or rehearsal purposes and may be retained by the college or university or individual teacher.
  5. A single copy of a sound recording (such as a tape, disc or cassette) of copyrighted music may be made from a sound recording owned by the college or university or an individual teacher for the purpose of constructing aural exercises or examinations and may be retained by the college or university or individual teacher. This pertains only to the copyright of music itself and not to any copyright that may exist in the sound recording

Important Restrictions on the Use of Copyrighted Music Material

In no event may copying of copyrighted music material occur in the following circumstances:

  1. Copying to create or replace or substitute for anthologies, compilation, or
  2. Copying of or from works intended to be consumable in the course of study or of teaching such as workbooks, exercises, standardized tests and answer sheets and like material.
  3. Copying for the purpose of performances, except as a permitted use described above.
  4. Copying for the purpose of substituting for the purchase of music, except as a permitted use described above.
  5. Copying without inclusion of the copyright notice that appears on that printed copy.

Copying with Permission

Unless a work falls within one of the exceptions above, or the intended use of a work constitutes "fair use", no Minnesota State Colleges and Universities faculty member or staff person shall use or make photocopies and other reproductions of copyrighted works unless specific permission has been obtained from the copyright owner. If written permission from the copyright owner has been obtained, the faculty member or staff person may make such copies and reproductions and use the work in any manner authorized by the copyright owner.

For more information, please view Frequently Asked Questions - Permissions.

Other General Requirements

The following general requirements also apply when copying or reproducing others' protected works:

  • Copying for Profit: No Minnesota State Colleges and Universities faculty member or staff person shall copy or reproduce any copyrighted work for use in a profit-seeking venture without the written authorization of the copyright owner and the campus Intellectual Property Coordinator.
  • Unpublished Works: Unpublished works are entitled to copyright protection and all of the provisions and procedures described in this primer apply to unpublished works.
  • Commercial Copying: All of the provisions and procedures described in this primer apply to copying and reproduction whether the facilities used for the copying belong to a Minnesota State Colleges and Universities college or university or to a commercial establishment.

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Office of the Chancellor has established the following guidelines relating to the performance of copyrighted works in the classroom, distance education and in public settings, for educational purposes based on copyright law, including the recently enacted TEACH Act.

Classroom Performances for Teaching Purposes

Educators at Minnesota State Colleges and Universities colleges and universities may show, display or perform others' work in the classroom, including videos, motion pictures, other similar audiovisual works, music materials, dramatic works, and other copyrighted works under the following conditions:

  1. The showing or displaying of the work is done in the classroom or similar place devoted to instruction.
  2. The teacher and the students must be in the same location.
  3. The audience must be composed of members of one class only.
  4. The showing or displaying of the work must be part of systematic instruction, which does not include recreational or cultural programs.
  5. The showing or displaying of the work must be the decision of the instructor, a student, or a guest lecturer.
  6. In the case of videotape, film, or other audiovisual work, the work must have been lawfully obtained.

Provided these conditions are met, few restrictions are placed on educators' use of others' work in a face-to-face classroom setting.

Transmission of copyrighted works (Distance Education)

Educators at Minnesota State Colleges and Universities' accredited non-profit colleges and universities may also show, display or perform others' work in distance education settings, just not to the same extent as in face-to-face classroom settings. The amount and type of work that may be broadcast or otherwise transmitted in a distance education setting are dictated by a recent revision to copyright law called the TEACH Act.

For further information, see the Teach Act guidelines below.

Public Performances

Public Performances: The following guidelines apply to public performances of copyrighted works at Minnesota State Colleges and Universities:

  • The public performance of videos, motion pictures, or other similar audiovisual works without permission from the copyright holder is prohibited.
  • The public performance of non-dramatic works and musical works without the permission from the copyright holder is prohibited, except in the following circumstances:
    1. The performance is not a broadcast or otherwise transmitted to the public (for example, via an internet, radio, or television broadcast)
    2. The performance is without any purpose of direct or indirect commercial advantage (i.e., is not a profit-making venture);
    3. The performance is without any payment of a fee or compensation to performers, promoters, or organizers of the performance; and
    4. There is no direct or indirect admission charge, or if there is one, the proceeds after deducting the reasonable costs of producing the performance are used exclusively for educational, religious, or charitable purposes and not for private financial gain.
      Even if the above circumstances are satisfied, if the copyright owner objects to the performance in writing at least seven days before the performance, the performance may not be held.
  • Per the Office of the Chancellor, "public performance" is defined as follows:
    1. to perform or display the work at a place open to the public or at any place where a substantial number of persons outside of a normal circle of a family and its social acquaintances is gathered; or
    2. to transmit or otherwise communicate a performance or display of the work to a place specified by clause a) above or to the public, by means of any device or process, whether he members of the public capable of receiving the performance or display receive it in the same place or in separate places and at the same time or different times.

The Minnesota State system office has established the following guidelines relating to the use of computer software and other electronic works:

Computer Software

Minnesota State Colleges and Universities prohibits the improper copying, distribution, or use of contractually protected and/or copyrighted computer software. “Copying” includes either duplicating floppy disks or transferring a program from a floppy onto a hard disk and then sending the copied program over a local area network or telecommunicating it over long distance lines. The following requirements apply to the use of computer software at Minnesota State Colleges and Universities institutions:

Copying of Software

  • Computer software shall not be duplicated unless properly authorized by the copyright owner. Shareware is easily identifiable through explicit statements within the software documentation, or identification is displayed on the computer screen. Unless these explicit statements identify the software as shareware, the user should assume that it may not be duplicated.
  • Software not containing a copyright notice is not necessarily in the public domain. The user should consult with the college or university’s Intellectual Property Coordinator to ensure that such software may be copied freely before any copies are made.
  • A copy or adaptation of a computer program may be made in the following two instances:
    1. the new copy or adaptation is created as an essential step in the utilization of the computer program in conjunction with a machine and that it is used in no other manner; and
    2. the new copy or adaptation is for archival purposes only and that all archival copies are destroyed in the event that continued possession of the computer program ceases to be rightful.

Licensing of Computer Software

  1. Each college or university shall ensure that it holds the proper licenses for computer software in use on college or university equipment. The college or university shall hold such licenses in the name of the institution.
  2. Individual employees who acquire software for their personal use in the course of their duties at the college or university must obtain any necessary licenses. Employees may not make copies of software for associates, but rather may transfer their use to a colleague. In doing so, the original user loses the right to continued use of the software and may not retain any copy of it.
  3. Computer software shall be used only on computers for which the college or university has a license or other authorization to use the software.
  4. If the college or university supplies licensed software to students in the course of instruction in a classroom, then sufficient licenses must be held by the college or university for all computers in that classroom. If the college or university supplies licensed software to students in the course of instruction in other than a classroom situation, sufficient licenses must be held by the college or university for all students in the class and for the instructor.
  5. If more than one class is using licensed software during the same quarter, sufficient licenses must be held by the college or university for all such classes.

Other Electronic Works

Creators of original works do not lose their copyright protection simply because a work appears on the internet. Works in the electronic environment, such as computer software, distance learning materials, telecourses, web pages, and other such material are entitled to the same copyright protection as printed work.
As with printed work, copyright protection for electronic work exists from the moment of creation and fixation in a tangible manner, regardless of where the information is found. Individuals who desire to copy works on the internet must be aware of copyright restrictions.
Questions regarding the propriety of copying material from the internet may be directed to the Intellectual Property Coordinators.

Copying with Permission

Unless a work falls within one of the exceptions above, or the intended use of a work constitutes “fair use”, no Minnesota State Colleges and Universities faculty member or staff person shall use or make photocopies and other reproductions of copyrighted works unless specific permission has been obtained from the copyright owner. If written permission from the copyright owner has been obtained, the faculty member or staff person may make such copies and reproductions and use the work in any manner authorized by the copyright owner.

For more information, please view Frequently Asked Questions – Permissions.

Other General Requirements

The following general requirements also apply when copying or reproducing others’ protected works:

  • Copying for Profit: No Minnesota State Colleges and Universities faculty member or staff person shall copy or reproduce any copyrighted work for use in a profit–seeking venture without the written authorization of the copyright owner and the campus Intellectual Property Coordinator.
  • Unpublished Works: Unpublished works are entitled to copyright protection and all of the provisions and procedures described in this primer apply to unpublished works.
  • Commercial Copying: All of the provisions and procedures described in this primer apply to copying and reproduction whether the facilities used for the copying belong to a Minnesota State Colleges and Universities college or university or to a commercial establishment.

No Minnesota State Colleges and Universities faculty member or employee shall use a registered trademark, or other similar mark such as a service mark, for any purpose without obtaining the permission of the holder of the trademark or other mark.

See also the FAQ for Permissions

Certain limited use of copyrighted materials for teaching, criticism, commentary, reporting, scholarship, and research is considered a "fair use" and does not constitute an infringement of copyright. The law sets forth the following four factors to be used in determining whether a particular use is a fair use:

  1. The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature;
  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;
  4. The effect of the use upon the potential market for, or value of, the copyrighted work.

What constitutes fair use, however, remains difficult to determine. Copying for educational purposes is often considered a fair use, provided the person doing the copying has acted fairly and in good faith. However, fair use applies only to non-profit copying.

To help determine if your proposed use of the materials would be considered a "fair use" under copyright law, use the Fair Use Checklist with your Fair Use analysis.

Frequently Asked Questions about Fair Use

The Technology, Educational and Copyright Harmonization Act (TEACH Act) passed in 2002 is a revision to the section of copyright law that deals with the performance and display of others' works in distance education settings. It was intended to bring the distance education rules relating to the performance, showing and display of copyrighted works more into line with the rules for face-to-face classroom instruction. Although the TEACH Act provides some expanded opportunities for educators in distance education settings, restrictions still abound and many educators find themselves relying on the more established "fair use" rules to guide them in their decisions about when it is appropriate to use another's work.

Frequently Asked Questions about the TEACH Act.

The TEACH Act and the Performance of Copyrighted Works in the Classroom, Distance Education and Public Settings

Transmission of Copyrighted Works (Distance Education): Educators at Minnesota State Colleges and Universities' accredited non-profit colleges and universities may also show, display or perform others' work in distance education settings, just not to the same extent as in face-to-face classroom settings. The amount and type of work that may be broadcast or otherwise transmitted in a distance education setting are dictated by a recent revision to copyright law called the TEACH Act.

  • Amount and Type of Work: Pursuant to the TEACH Act, the following types of work may be broadcast or otherwise transmitted:
    1. the performance of a non-dramatic literary work;
    2. the performance of a non-dramatic musical work;
    3. reasonable and limited portions of other works (such as films, videos or dramatic musical works like opera, musicals and music videos); and
    4. other copyrighted works (such as still images) as long as the display of such works is in an amount comparable to that which is typically displayed in the course of a live classroom session.
  • Conditions Governing the Broadcast or Transmission of Copyrighted Works: Broadcasting or otherwise transmitting the above described works is subject to the following conditions, all of which must be complied with in order to stay within the boundaries of the TEACH Act:
    1. The performance or display is made by, at the direction of, or under the actual supervision of an instructor as an integral part of a class session offered as a regular part of the "systematic mediated instructional activities" of the college or university. "Systematic mediated instructional activities" refers to the activities educators would engage in during the course of actual class time instruction, as opposed to activities educators might assign as part of the students' work outside of class;
    2. The performance or display is directly related and of material assistance to the teaching content of the transmission;
    3. The transmission is made solely for students officially enrolled in the course and, to the extent technologically feasible, is limited to such students; and
    4. The transmitted material is not material specifically marketed for classroom use for digital distance education; has been lawfully made or acquired; and is not the type of material typically purchased by students (such as textbooks or coursepacks) for their review outside the classroom or class session.

Unless a work falls within one of the exceptions above, or the intended use of a work constitutes "fair use", no Minnesota State Colleges and Universities faculty member or staff person shall use or make photocopies and other reproductions of copyrighted works unless specific permission has been obtained from the copyright owner. If written permission from the copyright owner has been obtained, the faculty member or staff person may make such copies and reproductions and use the work in any manner authorized by the copyright owner.

Frequently Asked Questions About Copyright Permissions

General Requirements

The following general requirements also apply when copying or reproducing others' protected works:

  • Copying for Profit: No Minnesota State Colleges and Universities faculty member or staff person shall copy or reproduce any copyrighted work for use in a profit-seeking venture without the written authorization of the copyright owner and the campus Intellectual Property Coordinator.
  • Unpublished Works: Unpublished works are entitled to copyright protection and all of the provisions and procedures described in this primer apply to unpublished works.
  • Commercial Copying: All of the provisions and procedures described in this primer apply to copying and reproduction whether the facilities used for the copying belong to a Minnesota State Colleges and Universities college or university or to a commercial establishment.

Intellectual Property Coordinators

Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Intellectual Property Coordinators serve by appointment of the Presidents of their respective campuses and are an important resource for faculty and staff. Minnesota State Colleges and Universities faculty and staff may seek advice from the Intellectual Property coordinators on a range of intellectual property issues including:

  • whether a work is protected by copyright;
  • whether and to what extent a work may be reproduced;
  • how to go about obtaining permission to use a work;
  • negotiating royalties, licenses and fees;
  • and the application of copyright law to distance education settings.

The Intellectual Property Coordinators shall maintain copies of permission authorizations received from copyright owners. The coordinators also shall serve as agents under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act for Minnesota State Colleges and Universities and shall immediately advise the Presidents of such institutions if a notice of copyright infringement is received.