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Copyright for Faculty: Overview

This guide is maintained by NOVA librarians to assist faculty in maintaining a copyright compliant classroom, both online and in-person. If you have questions or comments, please contact Heather Blicher at or Julie Combs at jcombs@nvcc.

Introduction to Copyright

What is Copyright?

For most people understanding U.S. Copyright law is challenging and often frustrating. The complexities of understanding your rights as a copyright owner, as a user of third-party works, even as an educator, and especially in a digital environment take time and effort. Laws pertaining to copyright changes over time, and the purpose of copyright "to promote the progress of science and the useful arts" (U.S. Constitution S8, c8) sometimes seems lost, especially for those who are not legal experts.

About Copyright

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has created a brochure to aid faculty in making copyright decisions. 

Know Your Copy Rights brochure
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 Generic License.



The information presented here is general information and is not intended as a substitute for legal advice specifically with reference to all of the facts of the particular situation under consideration. Accordingly, the information presented here must not be relied on as a substitute for obtaining legal advice from a licensed attorney.  

NOVA's Copyright Policy

Administrative Services Procedures Manual Section 29: Copyright and Intellectual Property

29.0 Purpose

Each member of the faculty and staff of Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC) is responsible for complying with copyright law and for initiating his or her own intellectual property agreements with the College. NVCC believes faculty and staff can best serve the College and protect their own interests by acquiring a basic knowledge of current United States Copyright Law, Virginia Intellectual Property Law as it pertians to state-supported colleges, and Virginia Community College System (VCCS) and NVCC policy.

Section 29 is divided into two parts. Subsection 29.1 provides general guidance on using copyrighted materials legally and describeds penalites for copyright infringement. Subsection 29.2 explains College policies and procedures for defining ownership of intellectual property created by College facutly and staff. The attachment section contains forms, sample permission letters, and a copy of the VCCS Intellectual Property Policy.