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Handbook of Operating Procedures
Chapter 9 - General Provisions
Publication Date: July 2, 2013
Policy Reviewed Date: November 29, 2023
Policy Owner: VP for Academic Affairs

9.11 Reproduction of Copyrighted Materials


It is the policy of The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) that all faculty, staff and students follow the United States Copyright Law of 1976, as amended (Title 17, United States Code, hereinafter, the “Copyright Act”).


This policy provides guidelines for the use of copyrighted materials to ensure compliance with legal and licensing restrictions on the materials used by the UTSA community; to ensure that the bounds of copying permissible under the fair use doctrine are not exceeded; and to avoid legal consequences by preventing copyright infringements.


This policy applies to all faculty, staff, and students, and any other individuals using written works maintained by UTSA.



UTSA or UT System Policies or the Board of Regents' Rules & Regulations

  1. UT System Board of Regents’ Rules and Regulations Rule 80112, Residential Conference Centers
  2. UT System Regents’ Rule 80104, Use of Facilities
  3. UT System Regents’ Rule 80105, Joint Sponsorship of the Use of Property or Buildings
  4. UT SystemRegents’ Rule 80106, Special Use Facilities
  5. UT System Regents’ Rule 80103, Solicitation

Other Policies & Standards

  1. Texas Education Code Section 51.202 - Rules and Regulations, Penalty
  2. Texas Government Code Section 2165.002 – Exceptions to Commission Charge and Control
  3. Texas Government Code Section 2203.004 – Requirement to Use State Property for State Purposes


If you have questions about HOP policy 9.11, Reproduction of Copyright Materials, please contact the Libraries – Collections and Curriculum Support division,


Fair use: One of the most important and well-established limitations on the exclusive right of copyright owners. It is given the meaning described in section 107 of the Copyright Act.


  1. UTSA
    1. Posts notices reflecting this policy at all computers, scanners, and photocopying stations.
  2. Faculty, Staff and Students, and Individuals using written works maintained by UTSA
    1. Determine the copyright status of materials prior to copying and understand their rights and responsibilities under the Copyright Act.


  1. Only copyrighted materials are subject to the restrictions in this policy. Uncopyrighted materials may be copied freely and without restriction. Because a copyright notice is not required for copyright protection of works published on or after March 1, 1989, those works (except those authored by the United States Government) should be presumed to be copyright protected, unless further information from the copyright holder or express notice reveals that the copyright holder intends for the work to be in the public domain. With regard to works published prior to March 1, 1989, a copyright notice generally is required in order for them to be copyright protected. Copyright Office Circular 22 explains how to determine the copyright status of a work.

    The UTSA Libraries provide answers to frequently asked questions, Copyright FAQs, to assist UTSA faculty, staff, and students in making decisions regarding the use of copyrighted materials. Additional resources and information also are available through the UTSA Copyright and Fair Use Guidelines, the United State Copyright Office Circular 21, and the Copyright Crash Course at UT Austin.

  2. Use of copyrighted Software and Materials, Including Online Articles
    1. Fair Use
      1. Copyrighted materials may be copied without the copyright owner's permission where such copying constitutes “fair use” under the Copyright Act. Section 107 of the Copyright Act notes appropriate use for the classroom, and identifies four (4) factors to be considered in determining whether a use is fair. The Copyright Office also provides guidelines for Not-for-Profit Educational Institutions. These four factors, with insight from the guidelines, are:
        1. The purpose and character of the use; including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purpose;
        2. The nature of the original copyrighted work;
        3. Amount and substantiality of portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
        4. The effect of the use on the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.
    2. Guidelines for Using Copyrighted Software
      1. Copyrighted software may be copied without the copyright owner's permission in accordance with Section 117 of the Copyright Act, which permits the making of a single archival back-up copy. Most software, however, is licensed to the user, and the terms of the license agreement may permit making copies of the software in excess of the single archival copy. As is true of all licenses to use copyrighted materials, each is unique, and its terms and provisions will vary from product to product and from company to company. As a result, the extent of the user's rights to copy licensed materials can only be determined by reading the user's license agreement.
      2. Any copying or reproduction of copyrighted software or other licensed media on UTSA computing equipment must be in accordance with the Copyright Act and the pertinent software or other license agreement. Further, faculty, staff, and students may not use unauthorized copies of software or store or use unauthorized copies of other licensed materials on UTSA owned computers or computers housed in UTSA facilities.
    3. Guidelines for Licensed Use of Copyrighted Materials
      UTSA purchases licenses for copyrighted materials that expand usage rights significantly beyond copyright law and the fair use rights. The usage rights allowed through these licenses are summarized briefly below. More information regarding this can be found in the Copyright FAQs at UTSA, or by consulting the Libraries – Collections and Curriculum Support division,
      1. Printed copies from books and periodicals may be used in the classroom as provided in the Copyright FAQs at UTSA.
      2. Printed copies of sheet music may be used as detailed in the United States Copyright Office Circular 21, pages 7-8.
      3. Digital copies of individual book chapters and articles may be used in online courses as provided in the Copyright FAQs at UTSA.
      4. Extreme caution must be exercised before copying or posting non-print materials (streaming media, images, records, discs, audio tape recordings, films and filmstrips, radio and television tapings). Consult the Libraries – Collections and Curriculum Support division,

    Violation of the terms of license agreements could result in cancellation of the service for the entire University. UTSA reserves the right to terminate computing services of users who repeatedly infringe upon the rights of copyright owners.

    1. Permission to Copy
      In order to copy materials or software, including licensed materials, permission must be obtained from the copyright owner when all of the following apply:
      1. the materials are copyrighted,
      2. copying extends beyond what is permitted by license or the boundaries of fair use,
      3. the work is not likely an orphan work, and
      4. advice of the UTSA Office of Legal Affairs or the University of Texas System (UT System) Office of General Counsel has not been sought.
  3. Defense of Copyright Infringement
    1. If permissible under State law and procedures, The UT System may arrange for the defense of any faculty or staff member against a civil action alleging charges of copyright infringement where:
      1. the use is in accordance with the provision of a valid software license agreement,
      2. the permission of the copyright owner has been obtained in writing, or
      3. the Office of General Counsel has issued a written opinion determining that the use is permissible. 

      Otherwise, the faculty or staff member may be personally responsible for the defense of an action for copyright infringement and any associated damages.

  4. Notice of Copyright Policy
    1. As set forth in UTS 107, all institutions are responsible for posting notices reflecting this policy at all computer, scanner, and photocopying stations which may be used for reproducing copyrighted materials, e.g., department copy rooms and libraries, and at or near all public computer stations. The following is a suggested form of notice:

      "Copyright Notice"

      "Copying, displaying, and distributing copyrighted works may infringe the owner’s copyright. Any use of computer or duplicating facilities by students, faculty, or staff for infringing use of copyrighted works is subject to appropriate disciplinary action as well as those civil remedies and criminal penalties provided by federal law.” The UT System Office of General Counsel can help you determine whether your use of a copyrighted work is a fair use or requires permission




UTSA Copyright and Fair Use Guidelines

  1. UTSA Copyright FAQs
  2. Use of Copyrighted Materials in Courses Tutorial
  3. Downloading, Posting, or Distributing Licensed and/or Copyrighted Content
  4. Use of Copyrighted Materials in Other Works/Publications

Other Tools

  1. Center for Social Media's Best Practices in Fair Use
  2. Peter Hirtle's public Domain Chart



XIII. Dates Approved/Amended