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.