Use of COPAS Materials Policy

Approved October, 2009

Background:

COPAS holds copyright on a wide variety of materials (both publications and videos) that have been developed for use by Accounting, Audit, and Land professionals in the Oil and Gas Industry.  COPAS Publications are made available for sale though the COPAS Office.  US Copyright Laws govern the reproduction of these materials.

It is recognized by COPAS that many of these materials, primarily publications, are used for educational purposes by a number of professional development/training organizations and educational institutions.  COPAS seeks opportunities to publicize the value of active membership and the work products developed by the COPAS Standing Committees.

COPAS has traditionally granted consent for reproduction of their publications if they are used as part of an established educational curriculum, and included as part of the overall package of training materials provided during the course of instruction.  COPAS has not granted consent for wholesale reproduction of its publications for further distribution.

Issue:

COPAS has one formalized contract allowing for the use and reproduction of materials, with the Professional Development Institute (PDI) at the University of North Texas, and only as part of the National Oil and Gas Schools jointly sponsored by PDI and COPAS.

The granting of permission for organizations other than PDI has been done on a case-by case basis. COPAS is not always aware however how the materials are used, and to what extent the materials are reproduced and distributed.  PDI has other courses of instruction outside of the National Schools and seeks to use COPAS materials in those courses.

There exists a need to establish clear guidelines for the COPAS Office, namely the

Executive Director of COPAS, governing the granting of permission for use of COPAS

materials, how that authorization is to be documented and for how long it is in effect.

Policy:

COPAS supports and encourages the use of their copyrighted material, but only for established educational/training purposes, and only if the material is used for reference purposes, and COPAS is properly acknowledged.

COPAS, as a matter of practice and policy, forbids the separate and individual printing of entire COPAS publications distributed as handouts by individuals, training organizations, or educational institutions; this practice violates US Copyright Law and negatively impacts COPAS publication sales.

Inclusion of extracted portions of COPAS materials in industry-related presentations by representatives of training organizations and educational institutions, such as overhead slides, p/c projection media, and presentation handouts is permissible as long as the entire document is not being reproduced, and COPAS is properly acknowledged.  File transferring/sharing of electronic versions of COPAS publications is not only a copyright violation, but is where COPAS is most vulnerable to lost publication sales.  Sharing of electronic files will not be authorized for any purpose with any organization.

Procedures:

Individuals seeking permission to use COPAS materials for education purposes shall contact the Executive Director of COPAS and provide details of themselves and/or their organization, the curriculum and/or presentation, how the material will be used, the target audience, and the time period covered by their request.

For one-time presentations, the Executive Director can, at his or her discretion, grant verbal approval based on the information provided and document that consent was granted.  Alternatively, the Executive Director can ask for a formal request granting consent that contains details of the information needed to evaluate the request.  Approval of the written request should also be evidenced by writing and kept on file.

For on-going use of COPAS materials, such as the current arrangement with PDI, the Executive Director should ask for a formal written request that should be forwarded to the COPAS Treasurer for evaluation and preparation of a formal contract that will be presented to the Board for approval.

For any use of COPAS materials not associated with educational purposes, the Executive Director should advise the COPAS President who will poll the Board to determine if any permission should be granted and determine whether a royalty should be collected or if the materials will only be made available under the COPAS pricing structure in effect at the time of the request.  If a royalty arrangement is approved, the COPAS Treasurer will prepare a contract for execution with the requestor.