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Faculty Information Literacy & Resource Page: Copyright & Plagiarism

BCC Copyright Policy

                         BERKSHIRE  COMMUNITY COLLEGE

It is the policy of Berkshire Community College to acknowledge and abide by all applicable intellectual property laws, including but not limited to federal copyright law, Title 17 of the U.S. Code as amended at All individuals employed, enrolled, and/or using the facilities or resources of the College are expected to do the same. 

Copyright is defined as the exclusive right of an author to reproduce and create derivative works from, distribute, perform, display, sell, lend or rent original works of authorship that are fixed in a tangible medium (print, audiovisual, online, and other media) which are not in the Public Domain and are thus protected under United States Copyright Law Title 17 of the U.S. Code.

It is the responsibility of all faculty, staff, students and anyone using facilities or resources of the College to read, understand, and follow the BCC Copyright and Intellectual Property Policy.  Please clink on the links below to read the complete policy, related information, and summary of infringement penalties.

Link To The  College's Copyright Page

Link to the Library's Academic Integrity Page

Best Practices and Tools

Additional Resources

American Library Association Fair Use and Copyright

Teach Act Faqs from the American Library Association, including online classes.

ARL Code of Best Practices: Fair Use 

Copyright Crash Course, The University of Texas Copyright in the Library  One of the best sites for copyright information.

The Copyright Genie   This handy tool will help you determine if a work is covered by US Copyright. 

CONTU Guidelines on Photocopying under Interlibrary Loan Arrangements

Copyright Code 17: The Copyright code with discussion, provided by the Legal Information Institute at Cornell University (LII)

Copyright History Timeline

Fair Use Evaluator:  This excellent, interactive tool helps understand how to determine if the use of a protected work is a “fair use.”

Educator's Guide to Intellectual Property
The Intellectual Property (IP) Series from University of Michigan includes a series of videos covering topics from copyright to patents.

Exceptions for Instructors eTools : Guides users through the educational exceptions in U.S. copyright law.

Purdue University's OWL Site:  A Complete Tutorial Site and Guide To Citations In ALL Formats, Including MLA, APA, and Chicago.

Stanford University's Copyright and Fair Use page

University of Maryland's Copyright and Fair Use in the Classroom, on the Internet, and the World Wide Web  Excellent site

Website: University of Maine's Plagiarism Site

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Updated 8/21/19


Citing Sources: The Problem of Plagiarism

Citing sources is one of the most important things you can do when writing a research paper. If you don't cite your sources in your paper, you could be accused of plagiarism.  What is plagiarism? BCC's Student Policy Guide says:

"When a student uses another writer's words and/or ideas and presents it as his/her own, he/she is plagiarizing ... When a student does use another writer's ideas and wording to support his/her own writing, he/she must give that writer credit."

BCC's Plagiarism Policy

"Academic dishonesty of any type by a student provides grounds for disciplinary action by the college or the instructor directly involved. In written work, no material may be copied from another without quotation marks, footnotes or appropriate documentation."

Plagiarism is taken seriously not just at BCC, but all colleges and universities. But if you use the information contained in this guide, you'll avoid the headaches that come with being accused of plagiarism. 

Copyright FAQs for Faculty

Database Articles

How can I provide articles to my students on Moodle?   Can I copy an article in print and distribute it?

Pasting the persistent URL from a BCC database article into Moodle is the best way to make electronically accessible materials available to your students.  From on campus, students will automatically gain access to the article.  From off campus they may have to “authenticate” to gain access to about half of our database articles by entering their Username (library barcode) and password (last name in upper case).  This is because we license these databases separately.  Ebsco makes it especially easy by providing a Permalink under tools that incorporates authentication so that students can easily access material. 

If you plan to distribute a print copy of an article, you may create a one-time photocopy of the article for your class.  This can be done only once, after which permission needs to be granted by the publisher/author of the article. You cannot repeatedly copy and distribute a specific article in print each semester to your students.  This is in violation of Fair Use because of its impact on the market value, and therefore the rights of the copyright holder.  You can also place the print copy of a publication the College subscribes to on reserve in the library.

Articles on the Web

How do I incorporate free articles found on the Web to my students in Moodle?

If an article is located for free on a website, link to the home page of the site the article is in.  You can add instructions on how to find the article on that site.  By linking to the homepage, you provide attribution and credit of the item.  Avoid deep linking to the document directly.

Video/Media Excerpts

What do I need to know about incorporating media into my in-person and online classes?

The library subscribes to a number of streaming video databases that you are allowed by licensing to embed or provide links for in your Moodle courseware.  You can show these as well in your face-to-face classes.   You are also permitted to show and play media available freely from the world-wide-web as part of your face-to-face in-class activities without the need to get permission.   

Regarding any item recorded directly from television, after showing these items in class they should be destroyed within 45 days.  Do not use them each semester.  If you want to show a particular program that you recorded yourself every semester, buy a copy of the program.  For more information on using broadcast materials in the classroom, consult the ALA page for the TEACH Act.

Updated 8/17/19

Credo Citations and Academic Integrity Module

Lesson Plan - Discussion Topics and Exercises
Click here 
for a printable version of this lesson plan for Academic Integrity, Plagiarism and Intellectual Property.

Click here for a printable version of this lesson plan for Principles of MLA Citations.

Click here for a printable version of this lesson plan for Principles of APA Citations.

Click here for a printable version of this lesson plan for Principles of Harvard, Turabian and Chicago Citations.

All Credo videos and interactive tutorials can be used in any classroom without authentication.  If accessing Credo modules from off-campus, a user name and password is necessary.

Subject Guide

Karen Carreras-Hubbard's picture
Karen Carreras-Hubbard
Jonathan Edwards Library, Berkshire Community College
1350 West Street
Pittsfield, MA 01085