Sec. 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976 allows the fair use of a copyrighted work for criticism, comment, news reporting or teaching. Multiple copies of brief works may be made for classroom use if there is a short time lapse between deciding to use and actually using the copies. Federal guidelines allow teachers to make single copies for a class or for scholarly research. The following is a guideline summary.
Material that may be copied
- Articles from newspapers or periodicals
- Chapters from books
- Complete poems if fewer than 250 words and printed on two sides or less
- Articles, stories or essays of fewer than 2,500 words
- One chart, graph, diagram, drawing, cartoon or picture from a book, periodical or newspaper
Material that may not be copied
- Identical material for more than one course
- More than one short poem, article, story or essay
- More than two excerpts from the same author, or more than three from the same collective work
- “Consumable” material, such as workbooks, exercises, standardized tests, answer sheets, etc.
- The same material from term to term