WPUNJ Copyright Policy

The Copyright Act of 1976 provides protection to "original works of authorship." The copyright law protects the tangible expression of original works of authorship and describes the categories of works that may be copyrighted. Copyright owners possess exclusive rights subject to some exceptions, including the "fair use" exception. William Paterson University encourages the appropriate use of copyrighted works and materials for teaching, research and creativity purposes consistent with the copyright law.

All members of the University community, including faculty, staff, students and volunteers, must comply with the Copyright Act of 1976 and with this policy. The concept of "fair use," which is embodied in section 107 of the copyright law, is the most widely used exception to seeking permission for uses of copyrighted works. Reliance upon the "fair use" exception is limited to those circumstances that meet the four-factor "fair use" balancing test. Those factors are:

  • The purpose and the 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.
  • The effect of the use upon the potential market for, or value of, the copyrighted work.

If it is determined by a member of the University community that this exception, or any other exceptions from the copyright law, are not applicable, permission must be obtained from the copyright owner for each use.

The expansion of the Internet and the electronic transfer and storage of information has raised a new range of issues concerning intellectual property rights. William Paterson University is committed to providing resources to the University community to assist in the decision-making process in this increasingly complex environment. All members of the University community must become well informed concerning copyright as it relates to their discipline. The University will not be legally responsible for copyright infringement by members of the University community. Individuals who intentionally violate the copyright law and University policy do so at their own risk and assume all liability.

Copyright Act of 1976 and related laws contained in Title 17 of the United States Code: http://lcweb.loc.gov/copyright/title17/.