Bates College Copyright Policy

  1. Bates College prohibits violations of copyright, license restrictions, trade secrets, privacy and authorial integrity. Distributing or receiving materials protected by copyright without permission of the copyright owner may be a violation of federal or state law and/or College policy. Violations may be grounds for sanctions against members of the Bates community and may be subject to civil or criminal penalties.
  2. It is the responsibility of those reproducing materials to make sure the reproduction is consistent with U.S. Copyright Law. Bates College complies with all aspects of copyright law, and has adopted guidelines on copyright permissions that are revised from time to time.
  3. Students, faculty and staff members are expected to comply with copyright laws and should remember that failure to observe these laws may result in individual liability for copyright infringement. The College will provide no defense or indemnification to students who illegally reproduce copyrighted material. In some circumstances, such as in cases where employees believe they are following the law and College policy in good faith,the By-Laws of the College and the Maine Non-Profit Corporation Act may provide for defense and indemnification of faculty and staff members in cases of alleged copyright infringement.
  4. Bates College employees who direct others to reproduce materials in any format have the responsibility to see that doing so does not infringe upon copyright laws. Copyright law may vary depending upon the intended use. Federal copyright law governing reproduction of copyrighted materials by libraries and archives is addressed in (see 17 U.S.C. § 108).
  5. Materials used in educational or classroom settings must be lawfully made copies. Classroom performance or display of a work that is “given by means of a copy that was not lawfully made . . . and that the person responsible for the performance knew or had reason to believe was not lawfully made” is an infringement of copyright (see 17 U.S.C. § 110(1)). The Librarian of Congress, upon the recommendation of the Register of Copyrights, may from time to time issue rulings that clarify the circumstances under which legal copies can be made.
  6. The College does not monitor contents of files as a matter of course, but does monitor network and other computer usage. In the process of doing that work College staff may become aware of violations of the law or College policy. If violations are discovered or suspected, College personnel may report infringement to appropriate authorities or take other action, including, but not limited to: warning the user, removing the material, or terminating access to the material.
  7. Illegal copying puts users at risk. Individuals and organizations throughout the world can and do monitor individual use of materials for which they hold copyright. Students, faculty and staff members are individually accountable to copyright owners.
  8. Bates College receives inquiries from persons and agencies regarding alleged copyright or license infringements by individual users of the Bates network. Notifications of claims of copyright infringement by copyright owners under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act must be sent to the College’s designated agent. Bates College has registered the following agent with the Copyright Office: Name:  Patricia A. Schoknecht, Vice President for Information and Library Services and College Librarian
    Address: 48 Campus Ave., Lewiston, ME, 04240
    Phone: (207) 786-6260
  9. Notice and Take-Down Procedure: In order to be effective, a notification of claimed infringement must be a written communication provided to the designated agent of Bates College at the above address and must include substantially the following:
    1. a physical or electronic signature of a person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed;
    2. identification of the copyrighted work or works claimed to have been infringed;
    3. identification of the material that is claimed to be infringing and information reasonably sufficient to permit the service provider to locate the material, including IP address, date, and time that the material was found;
    4. identification reasonably sufficient to permit the service provider to contact the complaining party (e.g. address, telephone number and e-mail address);
    5. a statement that the complaining party has a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law; and
    6. a statement that the information in the notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, that the complaining party is authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.

    Anyone considering submitting a notice of copyright infringement to Bates College is referred to Title 17 U.S.C. § 512 for the specific requirements of notice alleging that content infringes, and for the specific requirements of notices alleging that the information location tools, such as links, contribute to the infringement of copyrighted material. In such cases Bates College personnel will take appropriate steps to notify individuals involved, and may take additional steps as necessary.

  10. This policy may be changed at any time without notice.
  11. Persons with questions or concerns about Bates College copyright policy, and any Bates students, faculty or staff members seeking to challenge a claim of copyright infringement, should contact: Patricia A. Schoknecht, Vice President for Information and Library Services and College Librarian
, at


1 Definition of Copyright:

Under the laws of the United States, copyright is a form of legal protection provided to the creators of “original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression,” which may include literary works, musical works, dramatic works, motion pictures, sound recordings and other intellectual works. (For a more detailed definition and list of protected materials see 17 U.S.C. § 102 et. seq.)

2 Rights of Copyright Owner:

The owner of copyright has the exclusive rights to do and to authorize any of the following:

  1. to reproduce the copyrighted work in copies or phonorecords (e.g. cassette tapes or compact disks);
  2. to prepare derivative works (i.e. adaptations, fictionalizations, recasts, etc.) based upon the copyrighted work;
  3. to distribute copies of the copyrighted work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending; and
  4. to perform literary, musical, dramatic and choreographic works, pantomimes and motion pictures (see 17 U.S.C § 106).

3 Copyright Infringement under Federal Law:

A copyright owner has the right to institute legal action against individuals who violate any of the exclusive rights of the copyright owner (see 17 U.S.C. § 501).

4 Doctrine of Fair Use:

Fair use is a legal doctrine that establishes limitations on the exclusive rights of copyright owners. This doctrine of fair use may be raised as a defense to a claim of copyright infringement. The following four factors are considered when determining whether the use of copyrighted material is infringing on the rights of the copyright owner:

  1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
  2. the nature of the copyrighted work;
  3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work; and
  4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

Though copyright law does not offer a definitive meaning of fair use for any specific application, a determination as to fair use will be governed by a reasoned and responsible application of these four factors (see 17 U.S.C. § 107).

Bates users may be interested in looking at The University of Texas’s Fair Use of Copyrighted Materials, which provides a commonsense approach to the topic and examples of how the four factors may be applied in making specific judgments.

Bates College Copyright Policy, Version 1.1, Effective: April 1, 2019, Updated: February 23, 2022