USF Library Copyright Policy

This policy and is not intended to be read as legal advice but rather as guidelines for those looking for assistance with (a) Understanding copyright and other intellectual property issues, and (b) the University of St. Francis Library’s policies and procedures as they pertain to copyright, intellectual property and the reproduction of creative works. If further help is needed, USF librarians will provide insight and research assistance toward answering specific copyright questions. This policy and procedures manual is written in "Question and Answer" format, and is applicable to all persons intending to use library materials and/or access to reproduce the work of others on behalf of curricular and non- curricular activities occurring at The University of St. Francis (hereinafter, “USF”) in Joliet, IL. USF Library Archives materials, as a subset of the USF Library, are also covered by this document. It is not advised that any USF constituent disregard the direction given in this general copyright policy. Doing so subjects the infringer and the University to unnecessary risk and liability.


Title 17 of U.S. Code specifies Copyright Law and limits the making and dissemination of reproductions of copyrighted material.

USF Library makes the good faith effort to work within copyright allowances granted to it as an institution of higher learning under Copyright Law and the Fair Use guidelines. Library users who abuse copyright or make reproductions beyond Fair Use may be liable for copyright infringement.

The University of St. Francis Library maintains the right to refuse copying of any material if doing so would, in its judgment, be in violation of Copyright Law.

For more information on Copyright Law, how to determine the rights of a work, or just how to teach and stay within the allowances of copyright please see the links available under the Other Resources tab.

For the purposes of this document, the term “reproducer” will denote any individual or parties subject to US Copyright Law due to their reproduction (in analog or digital form) of intellectual work owned by someone other than themselves.

It is important for individuals to realize that copyright law is related to the reproduction
of original works. Copyright law does not govern the theft or misrepresentation of others’ intellectual property—only the copying of significant pieces or entire works. All persons who copy the works of others are considered to be "reproducers" of works.


USF Library staff will not provide, or pay for, copyright clearance for reproduction on your behalf. We will advise and direct you in the proper direction for obtaining copyright clearance, and will work with you closely to obtain permission for your needs to teach with copyrighted material. This document is prepared to educate you on our policies regarding copyright law and Fair Use in educational settings. If you have questions or comments regarding this document or any USF copyright policies and procedures, please contact USF library staff directly at, or 815-740-5041.

USF treats copyright compliance seriously. Copyright in the United States is a financial, ethical and legal issue related to all US citizens and creators of original works. USF

Library staff will report any known copyright violations (by staff) to appropriate deans and vice presidents, after advising the copyright infringer to cease and desist and receiving non-compliance in three calendar days. USF students will be reported to their instructor(s) in 24 hours, if infringement is not corrected.

Higher Education Opportunity Act: Peer-to-Peer File Sharing

The Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) includes provisions to reduce the illegal uploading and downloading of copyrighted works through peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing. Specifically, HEOA requires institutions to:

1. Make an annual disclosure that informs students that the illegal distribution of copyrighted materials may subject them to criminal and civil penalties and describes the steps that institutions will take to detect and punish illegal distribution of copyrighted materials.
2. Certify to the Secretary of Education that they have developed plans to “effectively combat” the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material.
3. Offer alternatives to illegal file sharing, “to the extent practicable”.
4. Identify procedures for periodically reviewing the effectiveness of the plans to combat the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials.

1. Annual Disclosure
The University of St. Francis uses the following methods to inform students about copyright laws:

Each semester, students receive an announcement about peer-to-peer file sharing and copyright when they log in to the University's portal, and they are required to acknowledge that they have read the message. This announcement provides links to detailed information regarding the University's Technology Use Policy and Peer-to- Peer File Sharing Policy, and provides links to legitimate sources of digital content. The University of St. Francis’ copyright website provides information and guidelines for copyright laws and fair use to the campus community.
All students are required to adhere to the practices stated in the Technology Use Policy , which includes a section on copyright compliance. This policy is included in the Student Handbook and is posted on the University’s portal.

2. Effectively Combat the Unauthorized Distribution of Copyrighted Material
The University of St. Francis uses several technology-based deterrents to combat the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials:

USF currently has a restrictive firewall in place to help prevent file sharing.
The current network switch infrastructure supports policy-based security, which can prevent access to known peer-to-peer TCP/IP ports that are used by common file sharing services and programs.
USF is currently building towards a full-featured network control solution which will enable MAC address registration, tracking and the interrogation of workstations that attempt to access the enterprise network system.

3. Offering Alternatives to Illegal File Sharing
The University of St. Francis portal provides links to sites that provide numerous options for obtaining music, videos, and other digital content in a legal manner. Students are encouraged to take advantage of these legitimate sources of digital content.

4. Reviewing Effectiveness
These steps will be reviewed annually by the Information Technology (IT) department and the Chief Information Officer each June and revised as necessary to remain in compliance. Based on the monitoring data that IT collects relative to network traffic, the review will assess the overall effectiveness of the University’s policy and procedures to promote the legal use of copyrighted materials. Any changes to the policy and/or procedures will take effect at the beginning of the following academic year.