City College of San Francisco Copyright Information


CCSF requires all employees and students to comply with state and federal laws applicable to copyright. Applicable copyright laws and license agreement provisions shall be observed with respect to the acquisition, use, production and distribution of protected materials in any format or medium in all San Francisco Community College District facilities. The legal and insurance protection of the District will not be extended to employees and students who knowingly violate such provisions. (adapted from District Policy Manual 8.10 Jan. 10, 1984)

Employees and students are prohibited from copying materials not specifically allowed by the:

  • Copyright law,
  • Fair use guidelines,
  • Licenses or contractual agreements, or
  • Other permission.

What are the penalties?


What is Copyright?

Federal copyright law protects “original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium,” which includes works of literature, music, drama, film, sculpture, visual art, architecture, and other creative media. (Title 17, U.S.Code, Section 101.) Most works published after 1923 (except those authored by the U.S. Government) should be presumed to be copyright protected, unless there is information or notice from the copyright holder that the work is in the public domain Works published prior to March 1, 1989, generally require a copyright notice to be protected, but those published on or after March 1, 1989 are not required for copyright protection. Copyright Office Circular 22 explains how to determine the copyright status of a work.

Suggested Copyright statement for CCSF course syllabi or websites:
"The materials in this course are only for the use of students enrolled in the course for purposes associated with the course. Copyrighted course materials may not be retained or further disseminated. Learn more about copyright restrictions at the CCSF Copyright Information Web llink at

What is Fair Use?

"Fair use is a copyright principle based on the belief that the public is entitled to freely use portions of copyrighted materials for purposes of commentary and criticism."(Chapter 9 Fair Use" Copyright and Fair Use Web page, Stanford University Libraries.) Select the link above, "What is Fair Use?" for information about the four factors commonly used to determine fair use and links to more information about fair use. If you are not certain if your materials meet the fair use guidelines, consult with City College of San Francisco's Dean of Library and Learning Resources.

Getting Permission

  • Permission is needed if the work is protected and does not qualify under fair use, or the work has not been licensed for use online. Refer to the University of Texas’s Web page “Getting Permission” for a list with links of organizations/companies that help you obtain permission. See also #1 Academic Coursepacks.
  • The CCSF Bookstore provides assistance with getting permission for their academic course-paks service.

CCSF Forms Related to Copyright

Types of Works

Chart of Copyright and Fair Use Guides for Teachers – This 2002 handy chart from Technology and Learning includes print, still visuals, video, music, software, television and Internet sources.

The following categories are linked to explanations about what is allowed under fair use guidelines.

Academic Coursepacks|Distance Learning | Images | Multi-Media Projects| Music| Other Audio| Software| Television | Text| Video |

  1. Academic Coursepacks - Printed materials, which may or may not be copyrighted, that are duplicated and sold by bookstores and copy service companies.

  2. Distance Learning and the TEACH Act of 2002 - The Technology, Education, and Copyright Harmonization Act (TEACH Act) updates Copyright Law, "expanding somewhat the scope of educators' rights to perform and display works and to make the copies to such performances and displays integral for digital distance education."

  3. Images
  4. Multi-Media Projects for Classroom Use - Guidelines for the fair use, duplication, distribution, downloading, future use, integrity and reproduction or decompilation (computer programs) of multimedia in the classroom, and in classroom projects.
  5. Music - Printed, recorded, performed.
    • Printed and recorded music
    • Performed music - CCSF has an agreement governing performances of works by artists represented by Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI). Call the Director of Administrative Services at 241-2327.
  6. Other Audio - see #4 Multi-Media Projects for Classroom Use . Departments may already have made agreements governing reproduction of audio materials that accompany textbooks. Contact the publisher’s representative, department chair, or in the case of audio used for Foreign Language Department courses, contact the Language Center Coordinator (452-5555).
  7. Software and Database License Agreements - Copyrighted software may be copied without the copyright owner’s permission, according to Section 117 of the Copyright Act, which permits making an archival back-up copy. Most software is licensed; consult the license agreement. For more information see the Software and Database License Agreements Checklist prepared by University of Texas.
  8. Television and Broadcasting – Fair use allows non-profit educational institutions to record off-air and present to students television programs transmitted by network television, cable, satellite, and broadcast with restrictions. Please see the following links for more details.
  9. Text Materials for Classroom Use - Instructors are allowed to photocopy or reproduce text materials to distribute in class, but there are several restrictions for reproducing said materials.
  10. Video - Includes video materials on VHS, DVD, and other formats, rented, borrowed, or purchased.

For More Information

In addition to the excellent copyright Web sites of the University of Texas and Stanford University Libraries, the following organizations provide information about copyright:

Acknowledgement is made to the University of Texas Copyright Website and Stanford University Libraries for some of the information and many of the links.