Copyright Policy

Revised:    September 13, 2011

Article I Section 8 of the Constitution of the United States:

The Congress shall have power to promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries;

The U.S. Constitution provides the foundation upon which copyright law is based. Copyright owners have the exclusive right to reproduce, distribute, modify, display, and publicly perform their works. Because of advances in technology, individuals must increasingly be aware of copyright implications when using a wide range of materials. Copyright violations related to copying printed materials, materials in digital format, audio and video recordings, music, Internet transmissions, and computer programs and databases, create potential legal liability for the university and the individuals involved.

The university's policy is that all members of the BYU-Idaho community - faculty, staff, students, volunteers, and patrons - are expected to make a good faith effort to respect the rights of copyright owners by the exercise of the following principles:

  1. Most materials (regardless of form, format, or notice) are copyrighted. If you cannot determine that a particular work is not copyrighted, you should assume that it is.
  1. Permission is required for reproducing, distributing, modifying, displaying, and performing all copyrighted works. If permission is granted, follow all grantor's instructions. If permission is denied, do not use the materials. Permission may not be required if the use falls within certain exceptions under the law.  For example:
    • Some uses may be permitted under the "fair use" doctrine (codified in 17 U.S.C. §107) in certain circumstances and for specific purposes if the weighing of several factors favors a reasoned conclusion for fair use.  To act in "good faith" an individual should consider the Fair Use Factors to determine if the intended use is fair use. These factors include (i) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes; (ii) the nature of the copyrighted work; (iii) the amount and substantiality of the portion taken in relation to the copyrighted material as a whole; and (iv) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted material.
    • Educators and students may perform or display (not copy) a copyrighted work in the course of face-to-face teaching at a nonprofit educational institution in a classroom or other place normally devoted to instruction (codified in 17 U.S.C. §110).
    • Certain library reproduction rights (codified in 17 U.S.C. §108).
  2. Each individual is responsible for obtaining permission(s). Ultimate responsibility for obtaining permission(s) and / or determining exceptions rests with the individual. Members of the BYU-Idaho community should be honest and show respect for others, especially in decisions and choices requiring subjective judgments, as is often the case in copyright decisions.
  3. The university is the copyright owner of works produced by and/or for the university. A copyright notice identifying Brigham Young University-Idaho (see below) as the copyright owner should be included on all products, publications, and other items produced by and/or for departments, agencies, divisions, and all groups owned, operated, or sponsored by Brigham Young University-Idaho.

© [Year] Brigham Young University-Idaho.

Members of the BYU-Idaho community who disregard this Copyright Policy may violate the Honor Code, the terms of their employment (jeopardizing their employment status), place themselves at risk for possible legal action, and incur personal liability.

To assist the university community with copyright issues, BYU-Idaho provides an Intellectual Property Rights Specialist to offer help and guidance to the faculty and students in resolving copyright questions. The university Intellectual Property Rights Specialist will inform and educate the BYU-Idaho community about the application of copyright principles. The Agent will also assist in documenting a good faith effort to seek permission and to comply with copyright requirements.  For assistance with copyright matters, faculty and students are encouraged to consult with the BYU-Idaho Intellectual Property Rights Specialist in the David O. McKay Library. For further information on copyright, go to on the internet.