Skip to Main Content
Oklahoma City Community College Keith Leftwich Memorial Library

Copyright Basics for Faculty, Staff, and Students


Oklahoma City Community College (OCCC) promotes compliance with copyright law and understanding of the appropriate use of copyrighted works. Faculty, staff and students are expected to exercise a good faith effort to comply with the provisions of the OCCC Copyright Policy (Administrative Procedure #4003) as well as current U.S. Copyright law and any license or contract terms and provisions. Copyright applies to work in any form, whether print or digital, including journal articles, book chapters, websites, movie clips, freely accessible Internet sites, etc.

There are three major exemptions to copyright law that are commonly used by educators: fair use, classroom teaching, and distance education (online education). Educational use does not allow copyright law to be disregarded. These exemptions make allowances for use of other people's creations in specific situations.

It is the responsibility of all members of the OCCC community (faculty, staff and students) to understand the exemptions and to make a good faith determination that their use of a copyright protected work is authorized under one of the exemptions. A good faith determination means that the individual must understand the exemption they are selecting, be able to articulate it, and be able to reasonably apply it to their specific situation. If none of the exemptions are applicable, then permission should be requested for the use of the work.

By no means is the Library or are the librarians copyright experts. If you still have questions concerning the appropriate use of any materials or whether something is copyright protected, it is best to err on the safe side and request the appropriate permissions.

Click below to view U.S. law, from