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Academic Freedom/Fair Use Policy

Faculty, staff, and students of MSMC are expected to respect copyright laws. We all need to familiarize ourselves with the boundaries of acceptable fair use in the use for educational purposes and when notification and permission needs to be obtained before use in print, digital, electronic, or other form.

When permission needs to be obtained, it is advisable to allow for processing time and any fees to be negotiated.  For the production of course packs involving copyrighted material, others (such as the bookstore personnel) may be available for assistance and guidance as well.

Please refer to the recommendations below and the attached links for further information. If additional help is needed or questions arise about implementing these recommendations, please contact the Chair or members of the Academic Freedom Committee.

As members of the Mount community, we hold academic integrity to be an important value. Adherence to the fair use doctrine and applicable laws regarding copyright is one aspect of preserving academic integrity.


  1. Credit Sources. When permission is required, contact the owner of the copyrighted material. Plagiarism or passing off the work of another as one's own creation is a violation of academic integrity.

  2. Model Integrity. Members of the Mount community should demonstrate their own integrity by giving credit for the work of others, whether or not the original author or creator has copyrighted the work in question.

  3. Watch Assumptions.  Whereas one-time use may not require permission, repeated use of copyrighted materials generally does. When in doubt, contact the owner of the copyright.

  4. Assume Responsibility.  The person who seeks permission is responsible for payment of permission costs and for ensuring that the acknowledgment of credit follows the specific recommendations of the copyright owner.

  5. Get it in Writing. Whenever possible, obtain permission in writing. Email is usually acceptable, particularly when fees are not required. When in doubt, get a signed permission statement that confirms permission has been granted and what, if any, fees are required.

Rules of Thumb

Fair Use Links