Copyright Policy


Tacoma Community College recognizes the importance of clearly defining policy and practice pertaining to U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17). This policy outlines the college’s practices and procedures pertaining to U.S. Copyright Law for instructional and non-instructional staff.


All members of the College Community


U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17). That commitment includes the full exercise of the rights accorded to users of copyrighted works under the "Fair-Use" provision of federal copyright law. (U.S.C. Section 107).


It is the policy of the College to facilitate the exercise in good faith of full Fair-Use rights by faculty, librarians, and staff, in furtherance of their teaching, research, and service activities. To that end, the College shall:

  1. Inform its faculty, librarians, and staff about their Fair-Use rights and the application of the four factors for determining those rights set forth in Title 17 of the United States Code: Section 107;
  2. Develop and make available through the Copyright Officer, appropriate resources concerning Fair-Use and intellectual property laws generally and the application of Fair Use in specific situations;
  3. Avoid, whenever possible, adopting or supporting policies or agreements that would restrict Fair-Use rights;


Copying of materials or other uses not specifically allowed by the law, fair use, license agreement, or the permission of the copyright holder is strictly prohibited. Written permission may be obtained from the copyright holder in the manner set out in Tacoma Community College Copyright Guide’s Obtaining Permission. If the material is to be reproduced and sold in the College Bookstore, the written request for authorization must state that the material is to be reproduced and sold. Employees who willfully disregard the copyright policy are in violation and do so at their own risk and assume all liability.

The college designates the chief administrator of the library as the copyright officer for the college. The copyright officer will exercise general oversight of the copyright function for the college and will assure that information about the law and guidelines are available in appropriate instructional offices, the library, and the college bookstore.

Every attempt will be made to assist employees who need information so that they can perform their duties within the intent of the law.


Tacoma Community College employees using copy machines or other devices for reproduction of any material are responsible for familiarizing themselves with provisions of the copyright law and fair use guidelines before copying or reproducing any material. To this end, the copyright officer will cause copies of the law and guidelines to be made available and prominently displayed near copying or other reproduction devices wherever they are permanently installed.

If after study of the law and/or the TCC Copyright Guide there is uncertainty as to whether reproduction or use of materials meets the requirements of the "fair use" concept of the copyright law, the copyright officer should be consulted.

If the reproduction of the copyrighted material does not meet the "fair use" guidelines, college employees must seek a written authorization to copy or reproduce the material from the copyright holder. The TCC Copyright Guide - Obtaining Permission provides guidance and resources for seeking written authorization. If the material is to be reproduced and sold in the college bookstore, the written authorization must contain the recognition that the material is to be reproduced and sold.

A permanent central repository of all copyright authorizations, releases, or waivers will be established by the Copyright Officer. Employees obtaining such authorization/permission will be responsible for transmitting them to the copyright officer via the method described in the TCC Copyright Guide - Obtaining Permission. This central repository of authorizations/permissions will be shared, as appropriate, with the bookstore.