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Copyright and Fair Use: Fair Use for Photocopying

Fair Use Guidelines For Photocopying Print Works For Classroom Use

Fair Use Guidelines for Photocopying Print Works for the Classroom

In order to provide more concrete limitations of Fair Use for educators and teachers, the U.S. Copyright Office endorses more specific guidelines in regards to reproduction (a.k.a. photocopying) of print works.

Teacher Guidelines for Making a Single Copy of a Work

Fair Use Guidelines for Making a Single Copy of a Work

Do you have something you only need one copy of? According to the U.S. Copyright Office, below are the items that are acceptable for one-time reproduction under the Fair Use guidelines.

I) SINGLE COPYING FOR TEACHERS:

A single copy of the following items may be made for a teacher's scholarly research or use in teaching or preparation to teach a class:

a) A chapter from a book.

b) An article from a periodical or newspaper.

c) A short story, short essay or short poem, whether or not from a collective work.

d) A chart, graph, diagram, drawing, cartoon or picture from a book, periodical or newspaper.

 

Source: "Circular 21: Reproduction of Copyrighted Works by Teachers and Librarians." United States Copyright Office: A Department of the Library of Congress. August 24, 2014. Accessed May 6, 2015. www.copyright.gov/circs/circ21.pdf.  

Teacher Guidelines for Making Multiple Copies of a Work

Fair Use Guidelines for Making Multiple Copies of a Work

Is there something you want to make multiple copies of to share with your class? To fall under fair use, it needs to pass three tests: Brevity, Spontaneity and Cumulative Affect. It also needs to include the source and copyright information.

II. Multiple Copies for Classroom Use

Multiple copies (not to exceed in any event more than one copy per pupil in a course) may be made by or for the teacher giving the course for classroom use or discussion; provided that:

a The copying meets the tests of brevity and spontaneity as defined below and,

b Meets the cumulative effect test as defined below and,

c Each copy includes a notice of copyright.

 

Source: "Circular 21: Reproduction of Copyrighted Works by Teachers and Librarians." United States Copyright Office: A Department of the Library of Congress. August 24, 2014. Accessed May 6, 2015. www.copyright.gov/circs/circ21.pdf.  

The Three Tests

What are Brevity, Spontaneity and Cumulative Affect?

If an educator would like to make multiple copies of a work, their use must past the three tests in order to fall under Fair Use: Brevity, Spontaneity and Cumulative Affect. Below are the U.S. Copyright Office's definitions of each of those factors.

Brevity

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 ten percent of the words found in the text thereof, may be reproduced.

Translation: Similarly to the Fair Use Guidelines for Educational Multimedia, this guideline states that the amount work being reproduced must be brief enough. An author's entire work should not be copied.

Spontaneity

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

Translation: It is not considered Fair Use if you reproduce same work repeatedly every year, or if you decided well in advanced to use it (i.e. during curriculum planning at the beginning of the year), without seeking permission from the original creator.

Cumulative Effect

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.]

Translation: It is not considered Fair Use when you apply the guidelines individually to each individual reproduction, rather than as a whole. Examples of abuse the Fair Use guidelines would be: photocopying a work for the entire school; photocopying the entire work of an author, staggered at different times throughout the semester; or creating photocopied packets from more than nine different sources.

 

Source: "Circular 21: Reproduction of Copyrighted Works by Teachers and Librarians." United States Copyright Office: A Department of the Library of Congress. August 24, 2014. Accessed May 6, 2015. www.copyright.gov/circs/circ21.pdf.  

Additional Guidelines

Fair Use Rules for Single or Multiple Photocopies

In addition to the guidelines stated above for single and multiple copies, the rules below apply for ANY form of copying.

III. Prohibitions as to I and II Above Notwithstanding any of the above, the following shall be prohibited:

a) Copying shall not be used to create or to replace or substitute for anthologies, compilations or collective works. Such replacement or substitution may occur whether copies of various works or excerpts therefrom are accumulated or reproduced and used separately.

b) There shall be no copying of or from works intended to be “consumable” in the course of study or of teaching. These include workbooks, exercises, standardized tests and test booklets and answer sheets and like consumable material.

c) Copying shall not: a) substitute for the purchase of books, publishers’ reprints or periodicals; b) be directed by higher authority; c) be repeated with respect to the same item by the same teacher from term to term.

d) No charge shall be made to the student beyond the actual cost of the photocopying.

 

Source: "Circular 21: Reproduction of Copyrighted Works by Teachers and Librarians." United States Copyright Office: A Department of the Library of Congress. August 24, 2014. Accessed May 6, 2015. www.copyright.gov/circs/circ21.pdf.  

Doesn't Fall Under Fair Use?

Do your photocopy needs not fall under these guidelines? Then it is not considered Fair Use. Look for other ways avoid copyright violation: