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Copyright Reminder

Many common campus activities involve copyright, and so it is critical that all Stanford faculty, students and staff have a working understanding of copyright law as it impacts their daily lives.  The Stanford University Libraries provide this Copyright Reminder to ensure that all members of the Stanford community have access to that critical information.  The Copyright Reminder highlights common campus copyright concerns, and outlines the fundamental elements of US copyright law that apply in those situations.

DMCA and access control

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) prohibits the circumvention of technological measures that control access to copyrighted works (i.e., digital rights management technologies). Until recently, that prohibition even prevented circumventing such measures to access only a small portion that would be justified under the Fair Use Doctrine (e.g., a clip of a film). In 2010 and 2012, the Librarian of Congress has recognized that circumvention to access small portions for educational or accessibility uses by college and university professors and students is acceptable, and will no longer be subject to the prohibition.