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Copyright Policy

For Saint Xavier University Libraries, Media and Archives

 At Xavier University, we support and actively encourage freedom and enthusiasm for exploring the truths of faith, for intellectual and scientific inquiry of all types and for active dialogue about the interactions among these. Fundamental to that free and enthusiastic exploration is robust access to and responsible use of information. Compliance with Copyright Law is integral to our information services. Copyright helps balance the open exchange of ideas with the intellectual property rights of content creators.

 The Libraries of Saint Xavier University expect that staff and patrons will respect the Copyright Laws of the United States. Those laws include a "fair use" exception to the exclusive rights of copyright owners. Our patrons can make fair use of copyrighted resources for teaching and research. However, "fair use" does not equate to "free use", even for educational purposes, and the Libraries urge our users to educate themselves on the four factors affecting fair use as identified in Section 107 of the federal Copyright Act We recommend the Fair Use Analysis Tool from the University of Minnesota Libraries as a starting point for determining whether use of copyrighted material is appropriate.

In addition to the exceptions to copyright that are defined in Section 107, the law also provides special treatment for library and archival use of copyrighted material in Section 108. This section addresses library-specific concerns such as copying for interlibrary loan and for preservation. The United States Copyright Office has issued guidelines for educators and librarians to aid in their decisions about copyright compliance. It is the policy of the Saint Xavier University Library to work within copyright law and accompanying guidelines, and to extend these principles to new media not yet explicitly addressed by law.

 The copyright policies detailed here are for copyrighted works. In addition, copying works in the Library may be more freely available if the material is in the public domain; the copyright holder has given permission for the use; or a contract or license agreement permits the use.

Print and Digital Copy Services

Users of print and digital copying equipment at the Libraries are reminded to comply with copyright law by signs placed near all copy machines. The signs carry the following text:

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17 United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted materials. The person using this equipment is liable for copyright infringement."

 Interlibrary Loan

As noted above, Section 108 of the Copyright Law contains special provisions for Libraries, including the authorization to provide copies of materials with the understanding that the copy will not be used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research. Our interlibrary loan service is offered under this authorization, following associated guidelines. The Libraries' policy, in keeping with National Commission on New Technological Uses of Copyrighted Works (CONTU) Guidelines, is to pay copyright fees when there are more than five requests for articles from a journal title over the course of a calendar year. All reproductions furnished through Interlibrary Loan bear a statement: "This material may be protected by copyright law (Title 17 U.S. Code)."


Both print and electronic reserve materials may be covered by copyright laws. All copies of materials placed on reserve are to be used solely for educational purposes in connection with instruction in a course. Compliance with copyright law is the responsibility of the person placing the items on reserve. For reserves from licensed content, users must also abide by any terms of the license agreement. In many cases, a link to licensed content is allowed when a duplicated digital file is not. Library staff will aid faculty in seeking and obtaining permissions to place on reserve materials deemed to exceed Fair Use. Material to be processed for Reserve must contain the notice of copyright. All material will be removed from Reserve and returned to the faculty at the end of the academic term. The Libraries may refuse to place materials on reserve if the Library Director determines the reserve use fails to comply with copyright.


 Parts of the Media policy were adapted with permission from Macalester College.

Users must always comply with the campus Acceptable Use of Technology policy.

The Media Services Department of Saint Xavier follows the Code of Conduct for members of the Consortium of College and University Media Centers with regard to copyright matters. “We believe that a balance must exist between the rights of the producers and distributors of the works which we collect and disseminate and the privileges of ourselves and our patrons who benefit from their display; we understand that if the owners of audiovisual works are denied their legal right to actual and potential revenues that may be derived from their works, the net effect will be a decline in the production of audiovisual materials, and we consider infractions of copyright law to be equivalent to acts of theft."

Classroom use: Instructors at the Saint Xavier University may show copyrighted DVDs and videos in their classes as long as it is in the context of face-to-face teaching and not for entertainment.

Non-academic use: We do not have public performance rights for our videos. Groups or clubs may not use DVDs and videos in a public performance setting.

Streaming Video/Multimedia: There are legal restrictions on the use of copyrighted materials online and specific procedures must be followed to comply with the law. Without permission, only three minutes or 10% of the work may be streamed, whichever is less.

Fair use of broadcast TV programs: Off-air recording of a TV broadcast may be shown twice in the classroom during the 10 days following the original broadcast. After 45 days from the original broadcast, the recordings must be purchased, licensed or the copy erased or destroyed.

Duplicating media materials: Federal guidelines stipulate that entire videos cannot be copied without permission from the copyright holders. Brief portions may be copied for instructional uses. Only three minutes or 10% of the work, whichever is less, can be copied without permission. Most videos are copyright protected, even if a copyright notice is not visible. Transferring or copying video and multimedia materials in their entirety to other formats is generally not permitted.

Podcasting: When creating and posting a podcast, all traditional copyright laws apply and should be followed. If use of the podcast is restricted to students in a class, fair use policies apply. If creating a podcast with all original materials, the creator owns the copyright. All necessary rights and permissions must be secured if creating a podcast with content owned by another rights holder.

Media re-use: Rules associated with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act allow copying of small portions of media for re-use when needed for purposes such as commentary or criticism. That is, users may copy "short portions" of media to insert in presentations or other programs when needed for commentary or criticism. However, unauthorized use of media for purposes other than commentary (e.g., for a background shot or entertainment) would likely be a violation of copyright. Copyright related to re-use of media is quite complex. In many cases, users can be well served by relying on materials more freely available under a Creative Commons license.

 Licensed Library Materials

Much of the digital content available through the Libraries is provided under license agreements that may allow for uses outside of copyright law. Users of licensed digital resources are still expected to limit use to non-commercial purposes, and to respect constraints on authorized access. Users can download or print articles or other materials for education and research, email articles to other Saint Xavier users, and provide links to licensed items for course syllabi, course management systems, course web sites, and other Saint Xavier uses.

 Archives and Special Collections

Researchers may make copies of materials in Archives and Special Collections for personal study under circumstances determined by Library staff. The Library may restrict copying if the process of making a copy might damage the original document or artifact. Use of copies of unpublished items in the Library's collections is still governed by copyright. While the Library may have legal ownership of a physical item, the ownership of the copyright stays with the rights holder unless explicitly transferred to Saint Xavier University, or unless the material is in the public domain.

 Educational Resources

For more information about copyright, we recommend the following resources.

Copyright on Campus (short video) from Copyright Clearance Center

Copyright Clearance Center, an organization that helps broker rights and permissions

Creative Commons, an organization that helps rights-holders expand access to their content

U. S. Copyright Office, the federal office charged with administering copyright in the United States

Copyright Information & Resources from the University of Minnesota Libraries

Adapted from the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University

For additional details and lists of public domain records see our Author Rights page.

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