Copyright Policy


The following guidelines are to be implemented and utilized by the staff and patrons of the Safety Harbor Public Library. They do not constitute legal advice but are viewed to be within the best interest of the Library. The guidelines address the effect of copyright on the normal operation of the Library. They do not address all the issues covered by the legislation and its revisions. The Copyright Law of 1976 and its revisions should be consulted for additional questions.

Institutional Policy

The Staff members will be expected to be familiar with and adhere to the provisions of the copyright laws currently in force under the Copyright Law of 1976 revised. Notices will be posted to inform the public of potential violations of the Copyright Law. This policy will be available to the Staff and public.


Neither the Library nor its Staff will be held liable for willful violation by patrons either on the Library premises or the patron's use of the material outside of the Library.

Copyright Defined

Copyright is the legally secured right to publish and sell the substance and form of a literary, artistic or musical work. Its duration is the life of the author plus 50 additional years. It protects published or unpublished works fixed in any tangible media, including literary, musical, dramatic, pictorial, audiovisual and architectural. Copyright is intended to provide an author the sole right to make authorized copies; prepare adaptations, translations, or abridged versions; distribute copies; give public performances; or display works. A work does not need to be registered with the Copyright Office or display a copyright notice to be protected by copyright. Works published before 1978 may have different protection. As the 1976 Copyright Law offers more protection to the copyright holder, the Library will assume that all works have the 1976 protections, unless it is proven otherwise.

Fair Use

The principle of fair use applies to library use of all copyrighted materials. Congress has stipulated the following factors influence the determination of fair use: a) whether the use will be for commercial or nonprofit educational uses; b) the nature of the work in question; c) the amount and substance of a work used in proportion to the whole; and d) the economic effect of the use of the work in the general marketplace.

Department Level

The Library Director shall be the department level contact for copyright.

Copyright Notices

The library staff will place copyright notices near all equipment that is capable of reproducing copyrighted materials. This equipment includes but is not limited to: audio and video cassette recorders, photocopy machines, and computers. Notices will also be affixed to photocopy request forms, and interlibrary loan forms which may result in a photocopy.

Special Permission

Staff must obtain written permission from any copyright owner for the library to copy or use any material beyond the scope of fair use.

Videotaping of Local Productions

Performance of copyrighted productions such as plays, skits, concerts and choral productions may be videotaped only for the purpose of review, evaluation, or rehearsal but may not be retained by the library or the patron.