Western University of Health Sciences

Policies & Procedures

Policy: Copyright
Policy Information

Title: Copyright

Responsible Department: Academic Affairs

Policy Contact

Vader, Patricia A

Executive Director of the Pumerantz Library


Policy Dates

Effective Date: 2001-03-06

Next Review Date: 2018-06-30

Approval Date: 2016-10-26 09:42:46.0

Review History:

April 10, 2015, June 1, 2012, March 4, 2008, October 25, 2002

Legislation :

Copyright Act of 1976, TEACH Act of 2002

Policy Statement

It is the policy of Western University of Health Sciences (WesternU) that all students, faculty, and staff shall comply with, and have access to a copy of the WesternU Copyright Policy, the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976 and the TEACH Act.   Under federal copyright law, WesternU recognizes the right to make fair use of copyrighted materials and the right to perform or display works in the course of face-to-face or online teaching activities.

Purpose of Policy

To provide information and guidance to WesternU students, faculty, and staff in making informed decisions regarding appropriate use of copyrighted materials so that they will be in compliance with the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976 and the TEACH Act.

Related Policy Information

The Copyright Act defines the rights of a copyright holder and how they may be enforced against an infringer. Included within the Copyright Act is the “fair use” doctrine, which allows, under certain conditions, the copying of copyrighted material for educational or research purposes without the permission of the copyright owner. These laws and guidelines apply whether the teaching takes place in a face-to-face format or online format. WesternU facilitates compliance with copyright law and, where appropriate, exercises in good faith full fair use rights by faculty and staff in teaching and research.

Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use, notwithstanding the provisions of section 106, of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright.

In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include:

1. The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purpose;

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; and,

4. The effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

Copyright for Distance Education (TEACH Act, SS110 (2)) The “Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization Act,” known as the TEACH Act, focuses on the ability of institutions to use copyright-protected materials in distance education. It authorizes instructors to digitize works for use in distance education as long as they are not already available in a digital format.

This law also permits educators to show other’s works utilizing digital technology in distance education, however, there are procedures that must be in place.


a. The performance or display must be part of a mediated instructional activity;

b. Made by, at the direction of, or under the supervision of the instructor;

c. Directly related to the course content; and,

d. It must be for, and technologically limited to, the students enrolled in the course.

e. The institution must have policies, provide information about, and give notice that the materials used may be protected by copyright.

f. The institution must apply technological measures that reasonably prevent those enrolled in the course from retaining works beyond the class session and redistributing them.

g. The institution must not interfere with technological measures taken to regulate storage and distribution.

Educational workshops or materials will be provided to all faculty members annually, and to new hires.  A mandatory quiz will be given to all faculty, including new hires, and then whenever substantive change occur to the existing material and/or policies. 

Specifically, Western University of Health Sciences 


Owners of copyrights can attempt to halt infringement by suing for injunctions, impounding or destruction of infringing articles, and can seek costs of suit and attorneys' fees. Additionally, they can seek to recoup actual money damages suffered by the copyright owner as well as the infringer's profits. When there are only nominal monetary losses, owners can, instead of seeking their actual damages, claim "statutory" damages.


Copyright - is a constitutionally conceived property right, which is designed to promote the progress of science and dissemination of original works of authorship by securing for an author the benefits of his or her original work of authorship for a limited time.  These rights include exclusive rights of reproduction, preparation of derivative works, distribution, and performance.  As a general rule, for works created after January 1, 1978, copyright protection lasts for the life of the author plus an additional 70 years.

Fair Use – is a limited exception to the exclusive use of the copyright owner, which if exceeded, can subject the one making unauthorized copies and the University to severe penalties.

Phonorecord -  A material object in which sounds are fixed and from which the sounds can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated either directly or with the aid of a machine or device - cassette tape, an LP vinyl disc, a compact disc, or other means of fixing sounds.  It does not include those sounds accompanying a motion picture or other audiovisual work.  A digital phonorecord involves the digital transmission of a sound recording that results in a specifically identifiable reproduction by or for a transmission recipient where the reproduction is sufficiently permanent or stable to permit it to be perceived for more than a transitory duration.  

Work - Any copyrighted expression, including literary work (fiction, non-fiction, textbooks, journal articles, written lectures, and other scholarly works); musical work including any accompanying words; dramatic work, including any accompanying music; pantomimes and choreographic work; pictorial, graphic, and sculptural work; motion pictures and other audiovisual work; sound recordings; and computer software.


Minor Revision