Section 110(1) of U.S. Code Title 17 and the doctrine of Fair Use govern the display of copyrighted material in a face-to-face classroom setting. As such, it is required that instructors use the Fair Use Checklist, before application of the copyrighted material, to ensure copyright law compliance. If no exception applies to the given situation, instructors must seek Permissions from copyright owners.
A streamlined procedure is provided by Truman Printing Services for compiling a Course Pack, using the following forms:
Included in the legislative history for the Copyright Act of 1976 was the U.S Copyright Office guidelines on Reproduction of Copyrighted Works by Educators and Librarians. It contains the “Agreement on Guidelines for Classroom Copying in Not-For-Profit Educational Institutions with Respect to Books and Periodicals.” These guidelines provide the minimum standard for educational fair use. Since their creation, the guidelines have assumed a de facto authority and are considered a “safe harbor” in determining fair use. According to these guidelines, the creation of multiple copies for classroom use (not to exceed more than one copy per pupil) should meet three basic requirements; brevity, spontaneity, and cumulative effect.
- Brevity: Generally, this allows for copying the entire work if it is small (up to 250 in the case of poetry and up to 2,500 words in the case of prose), or a portion of the work if it is longer (about 10 percent of the work). Illustrations are restricted to one per book or periodical issue.
- Spontaneity: This provides for the creative inspiration of an instructor to use works in a timely manner when the request for copyright permission would be unreasonable. In other words, an article from last week’s newspaper would be acceptable, but using that same article a semester later without permission would not be fair use.
- Cumulative effect: The copy is for only one course. The same author can only be copied once in the case of a short poem, article, story, or essay, or no more than two excerpts may be used. For one class there should be no more than nine instances of multiple copying.
Further, the guidelines prohibit copying which creates or replaces anthologies, copying from “consumable” materials (workbooks or textbooks), and charging students beyond the cost of the actual photocopying.
Although these guidelines represent the “safe harbor” for classroom use, they are often restrictive and unrealistic in the university setting. These guidelines do not carry the force of law and it is possible to exceed their minimal limits and still exercise fair use.
For the actual Guidelines see:
U.S. Copyright Office. Copyright Circular 21.
Bruwelheide, Janis H. The Copyright Primer for Librarians and Educators. Chicago: American Library Association, 1995. p.30-33. Pickler Library call #: General collection Z649 F35 B78 1995
The same principles apply to digital information as to print, but there are some additional complications:
- Material on the Internet may be covered by copyright or may be in the public domain. Be careful to download only legally posted materials. It may be necessary to get permission to re-post or distribute materials that are not in the public domain.
- Transmitting materials over the Internet involves not only the copyright holder’s rights of reproduction and distribution, but also the rights of public performance and display, so that each transmission may result in multiple copyright infringements.
- Legislation in this area is still evolving.
For more information see:
Harper, Georgia. Will we need Fair Use in the 21st Century?
O’Mahoney, Benedict. The Copyright Web site.
Music and Sound Recordings
The Reproduction of Copyrighted Works by Educators and Librarians report also defined minimal, or “safe harbor” guidelines, for copying music.
This is what is permitted:
- Emergency copying to replace purchased copies if a performance is imminent. Replacement copies will be purchased in due course.
- Multiple copies of excerpts may be made, but these excerpts cannot be performable. In any case, the excerpt cannot exceed more than 10 percent of the entire work and only one copy may be made per student.
- Printed, purchased copies may be edited or simplified as long as the fundamental character of the work is not compromised.
- A single copy of recordings of performances by students may be made for evaluation purposes and this copy may be retained by the instructor or university.
- A single copy of a sound recording may be made for constructing aural exercises or examinations.
The guidelines prohibit the creation of musical anthologies, copying “consumable” works (i.e. workbooks, exercises), copying without inclusion of the copyright notice, and copying as a substitute for purchase of the music.
For more information on items such as changing lyrics, parody, recording and selling student performances, adaptations, etc, see:
Hoon, Peggy, ed. Guidelines for Educational Use of Copyrighted Materials. Pullman, WA: Washington State University Press, 1997. p. 15-19. Pickler Library call #: Reference KF 3020 G85
Movies & Films
Section 110(1) of U.S. Code Title 17 states, that as long as the copy for use was legally obtained, films and movies may be used in classroom instruction. Movies purchased by the instructor, rented from a store, checked out from Pickler Memorial Library, or accessed from Truman’s Films On Demand account can be used in the face-to-face classroom setting for instructional purposes.
Pickler Memorial Library provides a tutorial on how to use Films On Demand in instruction.
According to U.S. Code Title 17, Off-air recordings (such as news broadcasts) can be utilized, but only to a limited extent with considerable restrictions. Any off-air recordings must be destroyed after a period of 45 calendar days. The off-air recording can only be shown twice in the classroom, during the first 10 school days in the 45 calendar day period. After the first ten days, the recording can only be used for teacher evaluation.
It is important to note that the doctrine of Fair Use, the Teach Act, and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, only give the exceptions to copyright. Instructors can always seek permissions in order to use full length materials and materials which are not governed by exceptions.