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Legal and Ethical Use of Information Resources

Federal law makes it illegal to duplicate copyrighted materials without authorization of the holder of the copyright, except for certain exempt purposes. Severe penalties may be imposed for plagiarism, unauthorized copying or using of media, including, but not limited to, print, electronic and web-based materials, unless the copying or using conforms to the “fair use” doctrine. Under the “fair use” doctrine, unauthorized reproduction of copyrighted materials is permissible for such purposes as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship or research providing that all fair use guidelines are met.

It is the responsibility of employees to abide by the District’s copying procedures and obey the requirements of the law. In no circumstances shall it be necessary for District staff to violate copyright requirements in order to perform their duties properly. The District will not be responsible for any violations of the copyright law by employees, students, visitors or volunteers. Violation of the copyright law by employees may result in discipline up to, and including, termination. Violation of the copyright law by students may result in discipline, up to and including, suspension or expulsion.

Parents or others who wish to record, by any means, school programs or other activities need to realize that even though the District received permission to perform a copyrighted work does not mean third parties can record and re-play it. Posting performances to social media may be considered a violation of copyright law. Those who wish to record/replay programs, performances, or activities should contact the employee in charge of the activity to determine what the process is to ensure the copyright law is followed. The District is not responsible for third parties violating the copyright law.

Any employee or student who is uncertain as to whether reproducing or using copyrighted material complies with the District’s procedures or is permissible under the law should contact the principal, teacher-librarian or District Teacher Librarian Facilitator, who will also assist employees and students in obtaining proper authorization to copy or use protected material when such authorization is required.

  • Approved: 05-23-88
  • Reviewed: 11-13-89
  • Revised: 01-25-93
  • Reviewed: 04-08-96
  • Revised: 10-11-99, 09-13-04, 11-12-12, 06-25-18, 08-27-18
  • Reviewed: 04-25-2022
  • Documents: 402.7

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