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Copyright for Students: HEOA

Basic information about U.S.C. Title 17 Copyright Law particularly as it relates to higher education.

HEOA Students and Copyright

PUBLIC LAW 110–315—AUG. 14, 2008 122 STAT. 3293 


‘‘(P) institutional policies and sanctions related to copyright infringement, including— ‘‘(i) an annual disclosure that explicitly informs students that unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject the students to civil and criminal liabilities; ‘‘(ii) a summary of the penalties for violation of Federal copyright laws; and ‘‘(iii) a description of the institution’s policies with respect to unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, including disciplinary actions that are taken against students who engage in unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials using the institution’s information technology system; 

See below for a full pdf document of the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008.

TMU Students and Copyright

Excerpt from the Copyright & Intellectual Property Handbook For The Master’s University Community to address HEOA requirements in Sec. 488 (P) Institutional policies and sanctions related to copyright infringement. (see above)

7.  Student Use of Copyrighted Materials for Class Projects

7.1 The copyright law does not specifically address student use of copyrighted works. However, the Senate Report accompanying the Copyright Revision Act of 1976 identifies "special uses" by students:

"There are certain classroom uses which, because of their special nature, would not be considered an infringement in the ordinary case. For example, copying of extracts by pupils as exercises in a shorthand or typing class or for foreign language study …. Likewise, a single reproduction of excerpts from a copyrighted work by a student calligrapher …in a learning situation would be a fair use of the copyrighted work." (Senate Report No. 94-473)

7.2  Based upon that statement, a consensus has developed in higher education that students may duplicate copyrighted works as a learning exercise. This suggests that students may integrate all types of materials into sound/slide, film, or television productions and other multimedia products.

7.3  Programs made under this exemption may be submitted to the teacher for a grade and may be shown to the other students in the class, including distance learning transmission over the college’s secure electronic network in real time as well as for after-class review or directed self-study. However, the paper or product will remain the property of the student.  It may not be shown, transmitted, or broadcast outside the institution and no copies may be sold or given away.

7.4  Students may perform and display their own educational multimedia projects created under Section 2 of the Fair Use Guidelines for educational uses in the course for which they were created and may use them in their own portfolios as examples of their academic work for later personal uses such as job and graduate school interviews.

7.5  Students who wish to make copies beyond these narrow constraints, or who wish to make additional uses of their student projects, must get permission for all elements used.

7.6  Students should also be familiar with TMU’s Media Ethics Policy reprinted below as Appendix C and the TMU IT Student Network Use Policy in Appendix D. These are also available on The Master’s University Web site - Campus Links - IT Services.

7.7  Students who fail to comply with TMU’s intellectual property policies will face appropriate disciplinary action which may include expulsion.

7.8  Students will find additional information about copyright in the TMU Copyright for Higher Education Research Guide located on the Powell Library web site under Research Guides.


Last updated February 22, 2021.

Higher Education Opportunity Act, 2008