Skip Navigation and Go To Content

Handbook of Operating Procedures

Classroom and Research Use of Copyrighted Material

Policy Number: 47


Use of copyrighted material for students and for research


Employees and students

Date Reviewed:
January 2008
Responsible Office:
Office of Legal Affairs
Responsible Executive:
Vice President and Chief Legal Officer


The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (“university”) strives to adhere to the requirements of the United States Copyright Law of 1976, as amended, (Title 17, United States Code) (“Copyright Act”). All employees and students are subject to this policy.

Only copyrighted materials are subject to the restrictions in this policy. Because a copyright notice is not required for copyright protection of works published on or after March 1, 1989, most works (except those authored by the United States government) should be presumed to be copyright-protected, unless further information from the copyright holder or express notice reveals that the copyright holder intends the work to be in the public domain. Works published prior to March 1, 1989, generally require a copyright notice to be protected. The Copyright Office Circular 22 explains how to determine the copyright status of a work.


A. Reproduction of Copyrighted Materials

1. Reproduction Which Does Not Require the Copyright Owner’s Permission

Copyrighted materials may be reproduced without the copyright owner's permission in accordance with the conditions described in the Copyright Guidelines. Employees and students must contact the Office of Legal Affairs before copying copyrighted material in violation of the Copyright Guidelines.

2. Reproduction Which Requires the Copyright Owner’s Permission

Permission of the copyright owner may be required to reproduce materials where the reproduction extends beyond the bounds of the Copyright Guidelines. Employees and students should contact the Office of Legal Affairs to determine if reproduction requires the copyright owner’s permission.

B. Defense of Employees

When permissible under state law and procedures, The University of Texas System will arrange for the defense of any employee against a civil action alleging copyright infringement for any reproduction (a) that is within the Copyright Guidelines, (b) for which the permission of the copyright owner has been obtained, or (c) for which The University of Texas System Office of General Counsel has assisted in determining that the use was permissible. Otherwise, the employee will be personally responsible for any liability for copyright infringement.

C. Copyright Notices

Department chairs and administrative equivalents are responsible for posting the notice reflecting this policy at photocopying stations having a relatively high likelihood of being used for reproducing copyrighted materials, e.g., departmental copy rooms, libraries and at or near all computer stations.


    • Office of Legal Affairs
    • 713-500-3268