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Copyright for Faculty

Copyright for Classroom Use

Copying of copyrighted materials for student learning and research use without written permission may occur in the following instances:

Single Copying for Teachers

Single copies may be made of any of the following by or for teachers at their individual request for scholarly research or use in teaching or preparation to teach a class:

  • One chapter from a book;
  • An article from a periodical, journal, or newspaper;
  • A short story, short essay, or short poem, whether or not from a collective work;
  • A chart, graph, diagram, drawing, cartoon, or picture from a book, periodical, or newspaper.

Multiple Copies for Student Learning

Multiple copies (not to exceed more than one copy per student in a course) may be made by or for the teacher giving the course for student learning use or discussion; provided that the following three criteria are met:

  • The copying meets the tests of brevity and spontaneity (as defined below).
  • The copying meets the cumulative effect test (as defined below).
  • Each copy includes a notice of copyright. An example is "this material may be protected by Copyright law (title 17, US Code)."

Definitions:

Brevity: Either a complete article, story or essay of less than 2,500 words, or an excerpt from any prose work of not more than 1,000 words or 10% of the work, whichever is greater but in any event a minimum of 500 words.

Spontaneity: The copying is at the instance and inspiration of the individual teacher.  The inspiration and decision to use the work and the moment of its use for maximum teaching effectiveness are so close in time that it would be unreasonable to expect a timely reply to a request for permission.

Cumulative effect: Copying of the material is for only one course in the school in which the copies are made.  Not more than one short poem, article, story, essay, or two excerpts may be copied from the same author, nor more than three from the same collective work or periodical volume during one class term.  No more than nine instances of such multiple copying for one course during one class term.

Obtaining Permission

Permission from copyright holders is often needed when creating course materials, research papers, and web sites. You need to obtain permission when you use a work in a way that infringes on the exclusive rights granted to a copyright holder (i.e. outside the boundaries of fair use).

Steps that need to be followed to obtain permission to use copyrighted material:

  • Determine if permission is needed for the work you want to use.
  • Identify the copyright holder or agent.
  • Send written request for permission to use. Remember to give yourself ample lead time, as the process for obtaining permissions can take months. Decide if you are willing to pay a licensing fee/royalty.
  • If the copyright holder can't be located or is unresponsive (or if you are unwilling to pay a license fee), be prepared to use a limited amount that qualifies for fair use, or use alternative material.

References

17 U.S.C. § 108

U.S. Copyright Office. (n.d.). Circular 21: Reproduction of copyrighted works by educators and librarians. Retrieved from

http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ21.pdf

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