Copying for the Classroom
- The purpose of the guidelines below is to define the minimum standards for educational fair use under Section 17 of H.R. 2223.
- They are excerpted from the Agreement on Guidelines for Classroom Copying in Not-For-Profit Educational Institutions with Respect to Books and Periodicals, a piece of legislation that was appended to the 1976 Copyright Act.
- These guidelines are recognized by the academic community and publishers as best practices when it comes to using copyrighted work in the face-to-face classroom.
A single copy may be made of any of the following by or for a teacher at his or her individual request for his or her scholarly research or use in teaching or preparation to teach a class:
- A chapter from a book;
- An article from a periodical 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 (never to exceed more than one copy per pupil in the course) may be made by or for the teacher giving the course for classroom use or discussion, provided that:
- The copying meets the tests of brevity and spontaneity as defined below; and
- Meets the cumulative effect test as defined below; and
- Each copy includes a notice of copyright.
i. Poetry: (a) A complete poem if less than 250 words and if printed on not more than two pages or (b) from a longer poem, an excerpt of not more than 250 words.
ii. Prose: (a) Either a complete article, story, or essay of less than 2,500 words, or (b) an excerpt from any prose work of not more than 1,000 words or 10% of the work, whichever is less, but in any event a minimum of 500 words.
(Each of the numerical limits stated in “i” and “ii” above may be expanded to permit the completion of an unfinished line of a poem or of an unfinished prose paragraph.)
iii. Illustration: One chart, graph, diagram, drawing, cartoon, or picture per book or per periodical issue.
iv. “Special” works: Certain works in poetry, prose, or in “poetic prose” which often combine language with illustrations and which are intended sometimes for children and at other times for a more general audience fall short of 2,500 words in their entirety. Paragraph “ii” above notwithstanding such “special works” may not be reproduced in their entirety; however, an excerpt comprising not more than two of the published pages of such special work and containing not more than 10% of the words found in the text thereof may be reproduced.
i. The copying is at the instance and inspiration of the individual teacher; and
ii. 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.
i. The copying of the material is for only one course in the school in which the copies are made.
ii. 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.
iii. There shall not be more than nine instances of such multiple copying for one course during one class term.
(The limitations stated in “ii” and “iii” above shall not apply to current news periodicals and newspapers and current news sections of other periodicals.)
Notwithstanding any of the above, the following shall be prohibited:
- Copying shall not be used to create or to replace or substitute for anthologies, compilations, or collective works. Such replacement or substitution occurs whether copies of various works or excerpts are accumulated or are reproduced and used separately.
- There shall be no copying of or from works intended to be “consumable” in the course of study or teaching. These include workbooks, exercises, standardized tests and test booklets and answer sheets, and like consumable material.
Copying shall not:
- substitute for the purchase of books, publishers’ reprints, or periodicals;
- be directed by higher authority;
- be repeated with respect to the same item by the same teacher from term to term.
- No charge shall be made to the student beyond the actual cost of the photocopying.
Please remember that the guidelines above only define the limits of fair use. If you wish to use material beyond the scope mentioned above you may do so, but you will first need to obtain permission from the copyright holder. If you need assistance obtaining permission, contact Linda Sizemore