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Copyright Reference Guide For Educators

Key Resources for Faculty

The draft Copyright Reference Guide for the San Mateo County Community College District can offer useful advice specifically to our faculty:

These issues and concerns are shared by faculty throughout the United States, and many other schools (and professional organizations) have created guides for faculty. This online tutorial from the University of Texas may prove useful, and/or the extensive materials on copyright and fair use from Stanford University.

American University's Washington School of Law offers webinars for instructors on Best Practices in Fair Use for Open Educational Resources, as part of its program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property:

As in-person education moved online in response to the pandemic in spring 2020, several educators and institutions endorsed this statement:


U.S. Copyright Law protects the rights of content creators in their creative works while encouraging the creation and propagation of new works. Thus the law grants copyright holders exclusive rights to control the use of their work while providing exceptions to permit certain use of copyrighted works for private use, in-classroom use, fair use, and the TEACH Act that are vital to teaching, learning, and research. Copyright infringement occurs when uses of copyrighted content exceed such exceptions or permissions resulting in lawsuits, money damages, and in some cases, criminal prosecution with jail time. 

The San Mateo Community College District acknowledges and encourages the appropriate use (i.e., reproduction, distribution, performance, and display) of copyrighted works for teaching and research purposes within the framework of the copyright law. Faculty members are legally responsible for adhering to the provisions of the U.S. Copyright Law. This guide provides information on the copyright law, and the doctrines and acts associated with the law when seeking to use third-party copyrighted content in teaching. The District makes every effort to assure the accuracy of this information but does not offer it as counsel or legal advice.



Copyright map

                                "The Great Divide of Copyright Status" by Michaela Willi Hooper and Lauren Antrosiglio is license under CC-BY-SA


Unless otherwise indicated, Copyright and Fair Use Guidelines by Pia Walawalkar for Skyline College is licensed under CC-BY-SA.