Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine is committed to upholding the copyright law of the United States. Title 17 of the United States Code governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted materials. 

The copyright principles that apply to instructional use of copyrighted works in electronic format are the same as those that apply to such use in print format, regardless of the electronic content (such as textual or audio-visual) or where it is stored (such as a learning management system or electronic reserves). Any scholarly classroom, or print use of copyrighted course content that would require permission from the copyright owner will likewise require permission when the course content is made available electronically. 

Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine also recognizes that the exclusive rights of copyright holders are balanced by limitations on those rights under federal copyright law. The fair use provision of the Copyright Act (Section 107) allows limited use of copyrighted material for purposes such as teaching, scholarship, or research without requiring prior permission from the copyright holder. This statue lists four factors to be weighed when analyzing the proposed use in order to determine whether it is a fair one. This fact-driven, case-by-case fair use analysis should be considered carefully when deciding whether or not permission is required. When linking to materials is not possible and making a copy of the material is necessary, permission is not required for works that are offered freely under a Creative Commons license (http:// and for works that are in the public domain (in general, material published before 1923). For other materials, a fair use analysis should be considered. 

Please contact the Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine’s Library for a copy of the Copyright and Fair Use guidelines. If it is determined that fair use does not apply to a proposed use, permission must be obtained. 

All ICOM faculty, staff and students are asked to respect copyright laws and reference or cite sources appropriately. Releasing unpublished research data or unprotected intellectual property may impair its protection. Similarly, releasing published and/or copyrighted information without proper permission is a violation of law. Plagiarism applies online as well.

Alternative Copyright Infringement 

All ICOM faculty, staff, and students must respect and comply with the rules on copyright. Unauthorized use or distribution of copyrighted materials, including, but not limited to, peer-to-peer file sharing (transmitting copyrighted materials, such as music, movies, compilations, to friends for their use), is a violation of federal law that can subject students to fines, imprisonment, or both. 

Copyright infringement is the act of exercising, without permission or legal authority, one or more of the exclusive rights granted to the copyright owner under section 106 of the Copyright Act (Title 17 of the U.S. Code). These rights include the right to reproduce or distribute a copyrighted work. In the file-sharing context, downloading or uploading substantial parts of a copyrighted work without authority constitutes an infringement. 

Penalties for copyright infringement include civil and criminal penalties. In general, anyone found liable for civil copyright infringement may be ordered to pay either actual damages or “statutory” damages affixed at not less than $750 and not more than $30,000 per work infringed. For “willful” infringement, a court may award up to $150,000 per work infringed. A court can, in its discretion, also assess costs and attorneys’ fees. For details, see Title 17, United States Code, Sections 504, 505. 

Willful copyright infringement can also result in criminal penalties, including imprisonment of up to five years and fines of up to $250,000 per offense. For more information, please see the website of the U.S. Copyright Office at 

Students who engage in unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, illegal downloading, or other unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials using ICOM’s information technology systems are in violation of the ICOM Honor Code and may be subject to ICOM imposed sanctions for misconduct, including expulsion. 

In compliance with the requirement to publicize legal alternatives to illegal downloading or otherwise acquiring copyrighted material under 34 CFR 668.14(b)(30), ICOM directs network users to a website maintained by EDUCAUSE for a comprehensive list of legal downloading resources. Although these sites are deemed legal alternatives for acquiring copyrighted material, ICOM does not guarantee access to these sites using College resources.