Copyright Issues

Examples of situations requiring a special license or permission from copyright holder:

  • Use of cartoons or logos for flyers or party themes
  • Showing movies at a club or residence hall activity
  • Staging a published play
  • Sharing computer software or music
  • Use of music for events, performances and the distribution and/or sale of video with music.


The Fair Use Doctrine (1978) of the Copyright Act governs the making of photocopies of copyrighted material. Photocopies may be made for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research as long as the reproduction or distribution is made without any purpose of direct or indirect commercial advantage. Middlebury College will follow the federal law in dealing with violations of the copyright code.


DVDs may be shown, without license, in the home (or dorm room) or in certain narrowly defined face-to-face teaching activities. Non-classroom use in public places (i.e. TV lounge, classroom), regardless of whether an admission fee is charged, requires a license (see below). Willful infringement for the purposes of commercial or financial gain is a federal crime and is punishable as a felony. Even inadvertent violations are subject to substantial civil damages.

Films or videos screened for entertainment purposes, or for which the College has non-theatrical public performance rights, may be advertised and promoted only on campus (which includes WRMC-FM, the Campus, and the alumni magazine). None of this promotion may say that the public is invited, nor will there be separate admission prices for ID and non-ID card holders. In general, all off-campus promotion is prohibited, including posters and flyers, unless for those specific titles for which the College has obtained rights.


When recording a CD, it is required that a group pay a statutory fee (Compulsory Mechanical Recording Right) through the Harry Fox Agency.  Only after paying this fee can a group legally sell the songs on the CD.  Check out for more information.



Use of the College's Name, Logos, Images, and Other Service or Trademarks

Middlebury College has obtained service mark and trademark registrations on a variety of College names and logos such as Middlebury College, Middlebury College Panthers, Bread Loaf, Bread Loaf School of English, etc. 

Only recognized and registered student organizations may use the Middlebury College name in their title.

Student organizations wishing to use the College's name or logo must use either the College Bookstore, Forth and Goal or another approved vendor.  Please check with Student Activities before purchasing.  

Whenever these marks are used, they should be noted as being registered marks and vendors must obtain permission to produce items bearing these marks and images. It is recommended, but not required, that marked or logo'ed merchandise be purchased or ordered through the College Book Store.

If you are planning on using any of these logos or marks in communications, please check with the Communications Office in advance.

The Assistant Treasurer and Director of Business Services Office at x5504 is responsible for monitoring the use of these marks and protecting the College's registrations. Should you need to obtain permission to use the College's name and images for promotional purposes, please contact this office.


Contact: Roman Christiaens—x5562