Copyright | Thomas Nelson Community College


Thomas Nelson Community College does not condone or tolerate the unauthorized copying of copyrighted materials, including licensed computer software or digital media by staff, faculty, or students. The college shall adhere to and comply with all copyright laws, and expects all members of the college community to do so as well.

Members of the college community who violate this policy may be subject to discipline as defined by the Scholastic Dishonesty section of the 2009-2010 Student Handbook; Section 3.12.0 of the VCCS Policy Manual; or Section 1.60 of the Department of Human Resource Management’s Human Resource Policy on Standards of Conduct. Individuals engaged in the unauthorized copying, transfer, or use of software may also face civil suit, criminal charges, and/or penalties and fines. Subject to the facts and circumstances of each case, such individuals or departments shall be solely responsible for their defense and any resulting liability.

If you have questions about this policy, please contact the Thomas Nelson Information Security Officer at 757-825-3546, or the Vice President of Information Technology at (757) 825-3513.

Who is the author of college works?

Copyright ownership for Thomas Nelson Community College works are determined in accordance with the Section 12 of the VCCS Policy Manual entitled “Intellectual Property,” (pdf).

What is copyright infringement?

The law of copyright indicates that copyright protection applies to original works of authorship fixed in a tangible form of expression, directly or indirectly perceptible, including, but not limited to, literary works, musical works (including any accompanying works), dramatic works (including any accompanying music), motion pictures and other audiovisual works and sound recordings. The owner of copyright has exclusive rights to reproduce, perform, display and/or prepare derivative works of the copyrighted work, and to distribute copies of the copyrighted work to the public by sale or other transfer or ownership, or by rental, lease or lending. Copyright infringement is the violation of any of a copyright owner’s exclusive rights.

Examples of copyright infringement:

  • Copying the contents of someone else’s webpage or use of video clips or sound recording without permission would in many cases be infringement.
  • Unauthorized duplication, distribution or use of someone else’s intellectual property, including computer software is copyright infringement and is illegal and is subject to criminal and civil penalties.
  • Unauthorized duplication and distribution of sound recordings is infringement. (e.g. MP3 format)

What is Fair Use?

The “fair use” of copyrighted works does not constitute infringement under copyright law. Fair use extends to the reproduction of copyrighted material for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship or research. In order to determine whether use of a work is fair use:

  1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether the material is used for nonprofit educational purposes rather than commercial gain;
  2. the nature of the copyrighted work;
  3. how much of the entire work is used; and
  4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work

Examples of fair use:

  • Quoting passages from, rather than a significant portion of, a book in a report for a class assignment
  • Providing a link to someone else’s webpage in a report for a class assignment

What are the penalties for copyright infringement?

Legal action available to the owner of the copyright includes obtaining an injunction preventing future infringement activity as well as monetary compensation that may exceed $150,000.

Who should you contact to report a claim of copyright infringement?

Contact the Thomas Nelson Information Security Officer at (757) 825-3546 or the Director of Information Technology at (757) 825-3513.