Copyrighted material

Copyright is a legal right granted to the creator of an original work and gives the creator exclusive rights for its use and distribution. It is the responsibility of all parties using materials on Illinois College websites to ensure that the material does not violate other parties’ proprietary rights. When in doubt, assume that it’s subject to copyright. Do not use the material unless you seek the appropriate permission.

Photos on the web

Photos that you find on the internet are subject to copyright law.  If you see a photo somewhere that you would like to use, you must find out who holds the copyright to the photo and get written permission to use the photo. Most likely there will also be a fee associated with the use of the photo that your department would need to pay. You will need to keep proof of permission and payment in case we are asked to show the photo is being used legally.

Public domain

Works that are not covered by copyright. Public domain works may be freely copied, displayed or performed.

Fair Use

Copyright owners have exclusive rights to their works, but the law does provide limited rights to reproduce, modify, distribute, display and perform copyrighted works for certain purposes including critique, comment, news, teaching and research. This is known as fair use. Fair use allows for limited and reasonable uses of a copyrighted material. Section 107 of the Copyright Act states:

  • the fair use 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—the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
  • the nature of the copyrighted work; the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

Source: 17 USC Section 107.