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Copyright and Fair Use

Copyright and Fair Use: Policy and Guidance

Policy regarding Copyrighted Works

Faculty, students and staff at educational institutions, including those at Wesley Theological Seminary, necessarily make use of creative works (including books and articles, among many categories of such works) authored by others in order to conduct research, teach, write, and engage in other academic activities. Most of these works are subject to the protection of the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C., et seq., which sets forth legal restrictions on the use of copyrighted works by others absent permission from the copyright holder. The Copyright Act also contains express “exceptions” permitting certain limited use without the need for such permission.

Wesley Theological Seminary requires all Wesley faculty, students and staff to adhere to the restrictions and limitations in the Copyright Act. This policy applies to all copying, dissemination or other use of copyrighted works in the course of Wesley-related activities, including library activities, the compilation and use of course materials, classroom and online instruction, research, publication of scholarly books or articles, and preparation of student theses and other papers. This policy also applies to any copying, dissemination or other use of copyrighted works on Seminary property or using Seminary facilities (including copiers, scanners, computers and internet connections), regardless of whether such use is Seminary-related or personal.

Wesley faculty, students and staff may reproduce or otherwise make use of copyrighted works only (a) when that use is permitted under an “exception” provision in the Copyright Act, or (b) otherwise, with the written permission of the copyright holder.

The most important exception contained in the Copyright Act is that for “fair use” of a copyrighted work. Other relevant exceptions address library uses, display or performance in classrooms, distance education, and reproduction in specialized formats for the print disabled. Individuals who wish to use a copyrighted work under one of these exceptions should make an informed, good faith determination regarding the applicability of the exception(s) before disseminating any copyrighted material. With regard to the fair use exception in the Copyright Act, Wesley faculty, students and staff should consult and follow the Seminary’s Guidelines on Use of Copyrighted Works, including where appropriate completing the worksheet accompanying the Guidelines.

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