2.3.1 Copyrighted Materials

A. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines for the use of copyrighted materials per the requirements of the United States Copyright Law of 1976, as amended (Title 17, United States Code, hereinafter the “Copyright Act”).

B. Persons Affected

All UT Tyler employees.

C. Definitions

Not applicable.

D. Policy and Procedures


  1. Only copyrighted materials are subject to the restrictions in this policy statement. 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, most 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 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.
  2. Copyrighted software may be copied without the copyright owner's permission only in accordance with the Copyright Act. Section 117 of the Act 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 give the user permission to make copies of the software in excess of the single archival copy permitted by the Copyright Act. Each software license agreement is unique. As a result, the extent of the user's rights to copy licensed software beyond that which is permitted under the Copyright Act may only be determined by reading the user's license agreement. It is the policy of the University of Texas System that any copying or reproduction of copyrighted software on System or UT Tyler computing equipment must be in accordance with the Copyright Act and the pertinent software license agreement. Further, faculty, staff and students may not use unauthorized copies of software on System or U. T. Tyler owned computers or networks or computers housed in System or component institution facilities.
  3. Copyrighted materials may be copied without the copyright owner's permission where such copying constitutes "fair use" under the Copyright Act.
  4. In order to copy materials, including software, where 
    1. the materials are copyrighted,
    2. use exceeds what is permitted by license or the Rules of Thumb, and c. the four factor use test indicates that the use is likely not fair, permission should be obtained from the copyright owner.
  5. If permitted by State law and procedures, The University of Texas System will defend any faculty or staff member against a civil action alleging copyright infringement:
    1. where the use is in accordance with the provisions of a valid software license agreement,
    2. where the use is within the Rules of Thumb,
    3. where the permission of the copyright owner has been obtained, or
    4. where the Office of General Counsel has assisted in determining that the use was permissible.
  6. Otherwise, the faculty or staff member will be personally responsible for the defense of a civil action for copyright infringement.
  7. UT Tyler will post notices reflecting this policy at all computers and photocopying stations that may be used for reproducing copyrighted materials, e.g., departmental copy rooms and libraries, and at or near all computers.
  8. For educational uses of music, the guidelines set forth in the legislative history of 107 of the Copyright Act are generally applicable. With respect to emergency copying permitted under those guidelines, special implementing details are set forth in the Fair Use document (see below).
  9. NOTE: The Fair Use of Copyrighted Materials (from the Regents’ Rules and Regulations) is available online.

E. Responsibilities

Not applicable.

F. Review

The Divisional Head for this policy is the President.  This policy shall be reviewed every five years or sooner if necessary by the President, in consultation with the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs in consultation with the Senior Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School.


LAST AMENDED: 04/22/2009

REVIEWED:  AY 2014-15

AMENDED:  04/2019

AMENDED:  12/2021