Intellectual Property Policy

Approved By Date
Board of Trustees 06-09-2022
Executive Leadership Team 03-14-2022
ICORE 03-09-2022

SCC encourages the development, writing, invention, or production of intellectual property designed to improve the productivity of the College, to enhance the teaching and learning environment, and to contribute to the betterment of the community. Intellectual property includes but is not limited to intellectual and creative works that can be copyrighted or patented, such as literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works, computer software, multimedia presentations, and inventions.

The purposes of this policy in regard to copyright are to:

  • establish the requirement for all SCC employees and students to comply with federal copyright laws;
  • to meet the requirements of the Technology, Education, And Copyright Harmonization Act (TEACH Act); and
  • prohibit the unauthorized duplication and distribution of copyrighted works through peer to peer file sharing on campus networks in accordance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) of 1998.

Any SCC employee or student that does not adhere to this policy is subject to disciplinary action.  Violators of the policy are also subject to civil and criminal penalties for violation of federal copyright laws.  Anyone found liable for civil copyright infringement may be ordered to pay either actual damages or statutory damages (Title 17, United States Code, Sections 504, 505).

Intellectual Property Procedures

Approved By Date
Executive Leadership Team 03-14-2022
ICORE 03-09-2022

SCC employees and students own all rights to copyrightable or patentable independent works created by that person without college support. Unless otherwise provided in a rights agreement, the College owns all rights to a copyrightable or patentable work created by the person with college support.  The ownership of a copyright or patent resulting from the development of intellectual property and any rewards or recognition attributed to the copyright or patent will be determined according to the following conditions:

Ownership resides with the employee or student if all of the following criteria are met:

  • The work is the result of individual initiative, not requested by the College.
  • The work is not the product of a specific contract or assignment made as a result of employment or enrollment at the College.
  • The work is not prepared within the scope of the employee’s job duties or the student’s enrollment.
  • The work involves insignificant use of College facilities, time, and/or other resources.

Ownership resides with the college if all of the above criteria are not met or if any of the following criteria apply:

  • The work is prepared within the scope of the employee’s job duties or the student’s enrollment.
  • The work is the product of a specific contract or assignment made in the course of the employee’s employment with the College or the student’s enrollment.
  • The development of the work involved significant facilities, time, and/or other resources of the College including but not limited to released time, grant funds*, college personnel, salary supplement, leave with pay, equipment, or other materials or financial assistance.
  • The College and the employee or student may enter into an agreement for an equitable arrangement for joint ownership, sharing of royalties, or reimbursement to the College for its costs and support. When it can be foreseen that commercially valuable property will be created, the College and the employee or student shall negotiate an agreement for ownership and the sharing of benefits prior to creation of the property. In all such cases, the agreement shall provide that the College will have a perpetual license to use the work without compensation to the employee or student for such use.
  • If an employee is granted full or partial leave with pay (e.g., release time or educational leave) to write, develop, produce, or invent intellectual property, the employee and the College will share in any financial gain; and the College’s share will be negotiated prior to the time the leave is taken.

 *Notwithstanding the provisions of this policy, in the case of a work created under a grant accepted by the College the ownership provisions of the grant shall prevail.




Copyright is a legal term that grants the creator of an original work exclusive rights to its use and distribution, with the intention of enabling the creator to receive compensation for their work. The creator also has the right to be credited for the work, who may adapt the work, who may perform the work, and other related rights. In order to be protected by copyright, a work must be:

  • Original,
  • Creative,
  • A work of authorship (literary, musical, dramatic, choreographic, pictorial, audiovisual, architectural, sculptural, etc.), and
  • Fixed (in a tangible medium of expression - ex: written on a piece of paper or digitally recorded)

Fair Use Doctrine: Described in Section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976, this doctrine allows for certain uses of copyrighted works, without permission or payment, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including, in some instances, multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research. Fair Use applies to all forms of media (film, web content, paper, etc.).

TEACH Act: The Technology, Education, And Copyright Harmonization Act was passed in 2002, and allows educators to perform or display copyrighted works in distance education environments, provided that all TEACH Act requirements are met (see Section IV of this policy).

Online Teaching: This term refers to any instruction that involve(s) an online component. This includes classes that are delivered completely online, but also those that contain a combination of online and other delivery methods.

Peer-to-Peer File-Sharing: This type of file-sharing refers to the distribution and sharing of digital documents and computer files using the technology of peer-to-peer networking. The process allows users to access media files such as books, music, movies, and games using specialized peer-to-peer software programs. This practice is strictly prohibited.

SCC Copyright Guidelines in accordance with the Fair Use Doctrine

Printed Materials

Faculty may make one copy of the following for instructional use in the classroom:

  • a chapter from a book
  • a journal/periodical article
  • a newspaper article
  • a short poem (less than 250 words/not more than two pages)
  • a short essay or a short story (complete and less than 2,500 words or an excerpt not more than 1,000 words or 10 percent of the work, whichever is less, but a minimum of 500 words)
  • a single chart, graph, diagram, drawing, cartoon, or picture from a book, periodical or newspaper

Faculty and staff must adhere to the following restrictions in making multiple copies without permission from the copyright owner:

  • Anthologies, compilations, or collective works may not be used for replacement, creation, or substitutions.
  • Consumable work shall not be copied for any reason. Examples of consumable works are workbooks, exercises, standardized tests, test books, pre- and post-test booklets, and answer sheets.
  • Unauthorized copying must never be directed by an administrator.
  • Repeated copying of the same item from semester to semester is not allowed.
  • Copies should never be made to substitute for the purchase of materials.

Multiple copies are allowed in the following instances:

  • Each copy includes a notice of copyright; it is a selective copy of any one item and no charge is made to the student (unless it is the actual photocopying charge).
  • The copying is an inspiration of an instructor and for a one-time only occasion when timely permission for said copy cannot be granted.
  • No more than one poem (short), article, story, or essay or two excerpts from the same authors are copied.
  • No more than three works may be copied from the same collective work or volume.
  • No more than nine instances of multiple copying for one course during one class in a given semester.

The institution is authorized to make copies of materials as necessary to comply with ADA to meet needs of visually impaired students.

Video and Audio

To utilize video recordings made from Public Broadcasting companies, the following must be met:

  • Recording must be performed by College personnel.
  • Videos must be used for instructional purposes.
  • Videos must be shown within a ten-day period and erased.
  • Recordings made at home and used in the classroom must be used and erased in a ten-day period.

Videos rented at a video store and labeled "For Home Use Only" cannot be shown on campus.

Videos purchased with College funds may have one back-up copy made.

It is illegal to videotape a 16-mm film.

Audio recordings (music): An entire work cannot be recorded-only 10 percent of the song, record, album, etc. is permitted to be recorded and used for instructional purposes.

Instructional video recordings: One per student may be made if permission is given from the publisher.


Workbooks, activity sheets, or any other copyrighted consumable material may not be reproduced.

Only one copy may be made for a transparency for classroom use.

No one shall make multiple copies of copyrighted materials from the Library (inclusive of out-of-print text).

Works Not Copyrighted

The following items are not subject to copyright laws:

  • Facts, ideas, URLs
  • Processes, methods, systems, and procedures
  • Titles
  • All works prepared by the United States Government
  • Constitutions and laws of State governments
  • Works in the public domain - works that are no longer copyrighted due to one of three reasons:
    • Copyright has expired
    • Creator failed to properly establish copyright
    • Work was published by the US government

Online teaching and TEACH Act

When determining whether materials are allowable for use in online teaching, each of the following requirements must be in place:

  • Teaching must occur at an accredited, nonprofit educational institution.
  • Only lawfully acquired copies may be used.
  • Use is limited to performances and displays. The TEACH Act does not apply to materials that are for students' independent use and retention, such as textbooks or readings.
  • Use of materials must be within the context of mediated instructional activities.
  • The materials to be used should not include those primarily marketed for the purposes of distance education (ex: an e-book or a multimedia tutorial).
  • Only the students enrolled in the section should have access to the material.
  • Reasonable efforts must be made to prevent students from distributing the material after viewing it.
  • If a digital version of the work is already available, then an analog copy cannot be converted for educational use.
  • Students must be informed that the materials they access are protected by copyright.
  • The educational institution must have a policy on the use of copyrighted materials and provide informative resources for faculty advising them on their rights.

Peer-to-Peer File-Sharing

Stanly Community College forbids the use of ad-hoc peer-to-peer file sharing programs to exchange copyrighted material while on the SCC network. Unauthorized duplication, use, or distribution of copyrighted materials, including music and video files is illegal under the DMCA. Failure to adhere is against the law and may result in the Federal Bureau of Investigation as well as the Recording Industry Association of America investigating and/or prosecuting alleged violations. This applies to all students, employees, and visitors using the SCC network.

The SCC Information Technology Division, under the direction of the Chief Technical Officer will devise and maintain a plan for technology deterrents that may or may not include the following:

  • A packet inspection solution for bandwidth shaping and traffic monitoring;
  • Diligent response to DMCA notices to ensure active monitoring and categorization based on the source; and
  • Utilization of web security appliances to block peer-to-peer websites that promote illegal file-sharing.


Revision Dates: 12/19/2013 (procedures), 02/20/2014 (policy)


Copyright Act of 1976, Pub. L. No. 94-533, 90 Stat. 2541

Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, Pub. L. No. 105-304, 112 Stat.2860 (Oct. 28, 1998).

Technology, Education, And Copyright Harmonization (TEACH) Act, 2002, 17 U.S.C. § 110(2)