Copyright Guidelines

Nothing is cut-and-dried about fair use within an educational setting. Infringement claims are decided on a case-by-case basis. The rules below are only guidelines. If you have any questions about fair use, please contact Mark Swails, copyright librarian.

Guidelines for Fair Use

Print

Chapter in a book
Fair use (permission not required)

  • Single copy used by an instructor for research, teaching or class preparation
  • Multiple copies (one per student per class) if the chapter is brief, spontaneously copied and in compliance with the cumulative effect test (see below)
  • Copyright notice and attribution included

Newspaper/magazine article

Fair use (permission not required)

  • A complete work of less than 2,500 words
  • For longer articles, excerpts of up to 1,000 words or 10 percent of the work, whichever is less (a minimum of 500 words)
  • Articles covered in the previous two bullets may be expanded (e.g., the number of words increased) to permit the completion of an unfinished prose paragraph)
  • Copyright notice and attribution included

Poems

Fair use (permission not required)

  • Copies of the entire poem if it is less than 250 words and printed on no more than two pages
  • 250 words of a longer poem
  • Articles covered in the previous two bullets may be expanded (e.g., the number of words increased) to permit the completion of an unfinished line of a poem)
  • 5 poems by different poets from a collection
  • 3 poems (or excerpts) per poet from the same collective work or periodical volume
  • Copyright notice and attribution included
  • A notation if alterations are made

Infringing Use - Not "Fair Use"

  • Multiple copies used semester after semester without permission
  • Multiple copies that create an anthology
  • Multiple copies intended to avoid the purchase of a textbook or other materials
  • Using an unlawfully acquired copy as the original

Photographs, illustrations and graphic images (including charts, diagrams, graphs, drawings, cartoons and Web images)

Fair use (permission not required)

  • Copying a photo, illustration or image in its entirety, but no more than five images from one artist
  • Using images from a published collective work, but no more than 15 images or 10 percent of the work, whichever is less
  • Copyright notice and attribution included
  • A notation if alterations are made

Infringing Use - Not "Fair Use"

  • Making and distributing multiple copies
  • Making copies to avoid purchase
  • Incorporating or altering the image as an embellishment or decoration for artistic purposes that aren't temporary
  • Using an unlawfully acquired copy as the original

Video or animation

Fair use (permission not required)

  • Copying up to 3 minutes or 10 percent of the work, whichever is less
  • Copyright notice and attribution included
  • A notation if alterations are made
  • Copied spontaneously

Infringing Use - Not "Fair Use"

  • Making and distributing multiple copies
  • Distributing multiple copies semester after semester
  • Making copies to avoid purchase
  • Incorporating or altering the image as an embellishment or decoration for artistic purposes that aren't temporary
  • Using an unlawfully acquired copy as the original

Music and lyrics (including sheet music, songs, lyrics, musical scores or recordings)

Fair use (permission not required)

  • Copy up to 10 percent in print, sound or multimedia form, but no more than 30 seconds of an individual work
  • Copyright notice and attribution included
  • A notation if alterations are made

Infringing Use - Not "Fair Use"

  • Making and distributing multiple copies
  • Distributing multiple copies semester after semester
  • Making copies to avoid purchase
  • Using an unlawfully acquired copy as the original
  • Changing the basic melody or fundamental character of the piece

Broadcast program

Fair use (permission not required)

  • Single copy of off-air simultaneous broadcast used within a period not to exceed the first 45 consecutive calendar days after the recording date
  • Copyright notice and attribution included
  • No alterations
  • Used only by individual instructors

Infringing Use - Not "Fair Use"

  • Making and distributing multiple copies
  • Distributing multiple copies semester after semester
  • Making copies to avoid purchase
  • Using an unlawfully acquired copy as the original

Numerical data sets

Fair use (permission not required)

  • Copying up to 10 percent or 2,500 fields or cell entries, whichever is less
  • Copyright notice and attribution included
  • Noting if alterations were made (alterations must support an instructional objective)

Infringing Use - Not "Fair Use"

  • Making and distributing multiple copies
  • Distributing multiple copies semester after semester
  • Using an unlawfully acquired copy as the original