Copyright Infringement Policy

General Statement

It is the policy of Alfred University and its Libraries to uphold the provisions of the Copyright Law (Title 17, United States Code). The intent of the law is to balance the rights of the copyright owner with society's free flow of ideas. Alfred University is committed to providing an environment that supports the research and teaching activities of its faculty, students and staff. As a matter of principle and practice, the University encourages all members of the Alfred community to publish without restriction their papers, books, and other forms of communication to share openly and fully their findings and knowledge with colleagues and the public.

This Copyright Policy is intended to promote and encourage excellence and innovation in scholarly research and teaching by identifying and protecting the rights of the University, its faculty, staff, and students. At the same time, we must recognize that copyright owners have exclusive rights to reproduce their copyrighted works, to prepare derivative works, to distribute copies and to perform or display the works publicly. Consequently, it is copyright infringement for any person other than the copyright owner to exercise any of the rights listed above unless properly authorized by the owner, or unless the use of the material constitutes "fair use" as provided by law.

Every administrator and faculty and staff member who may be involved in the reproduction of copyrighted materials for classroom use, preparation of lectures and/or labs, or other campus organizational use has an important responsibility to use his/her best efforts to assure that the rights of copyright owners are recognized and honored.

Whenever copyrighted materials are to be reproduced for educational or administrative use, the user must first obtain the permission of the copyright owner, or determine that the planned use of the material fits the fair use concept through the application of the Four "Fair Use" Factors. Persons requesting University services involving copyrighted material will be asked to provide written certification either that the copyright owner's permission has been obtained or that, for specific reasons, the proposed use has been determined to be covered by the fair use provisions of the Copyright Law.

The Four Fair Use Factors are as follows:

  1. The purpose and character of the use, e.g., whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes
  2. The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole
  3. The nature of the copyrighted work
  4. The effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work
Fair use is not susceptible to exact definition. Generally speaking, however, it allows copying without permission from, or payment to, the copyright owner where the use is reasonable and not harmful to the rights of the copyright owner, e.g., the right to reproduce the work, to prepare derivative works, to distribute copies and to perform or display the work publicly. Thus, for example, do not assume your intended use is fair use just because it will occur in a university or teaching environment.

The fair use factors were deliberately designed to allow for flexible interpretation of the law. A court will apply all four factors to a given situation and will balance them against each other. Thus if one factor weighs heavily against fair use but the other three do not, generally the court will not call the use unfair.

Individuals who willfully disregard the Copyright Law are in violation of University Policy and do so at their own risk and assume all liability. Therefore, 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. Please note that, except in cases where the University is the author of or owns a work, permission from the University does not constitute permission from the copyright owner.

Alfred University reserves the right to terminate computer access or accounts of repeated violators of the Copyright Law, whether or not valid notices of infringement (see below) have been received by our designated agent. The designated agent for Alfred University, on file with the Copyright Office, is:

Manager of Network Services
Herrick Library
1 Saxon Drive
Alfred, NY 14802
Ph: 607-871-2177
Fx: 607-871-3780

Valid notice of infringement - A valid notice of infringement under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act must substantially comply with the following requirements:

  1. Have a physical or electronic signature of the complainant
  2. Identify the copyrighted work
  3. Identify the material claimed to be infringing the owner's copyright
  4. Have information enabling the ISP to contact the complainant
  5. Have a statement of the complainant's good faith belief that use of the challenged material is not authorized by the owner or by law
  6. Have a statement that the information in the complaint is accurate, and, under penalty of perjury, that the complainant is authorized to act on behalf of the copyright owner
  7. A notice that complies ONLY with elements 2, 3, and 4, does not constitute a "notice" under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act if Alfred University has made reasonable efforts to contact the complainant and obtain a notice that complies with all of the six (6) required elements listed above.
If Alfred University ITS receives a valid notice from a copyright owner that substantially complies with the requirements spelled out above, the University will remove or disable access to the challenged material. If you lose internet and your browser is redirected to a page that says "Alfred University-Information Security..." then ITS may have received a notification that your computer is illegally sharing copyrighted material. Please follow the directions on the "Alfred University-Information Security" page and ITS will restore your internet connectivity. For further information, please read Illegal Sharing of Copyrighted Music And Video or contact the ITS Helpdesk.

Ownership Of Created Works

To learn about the University's Policy on intellectual property ownership, please refer to the most recent version of the Alfred University Intellectual Property Policy.

The Copyright Committee at Alfred University gratefully acknowledges the use of text from policies written at Willamette University, Cornell University, and SUNYNet. August 2000.

Approved by Presidents Cabinet 9/19/2000, Updated 3/2011