The “Fair Use” Law

What is the “Fair Use” law? “Fair Use” provides users with limited rights to reproduce copyrighted works under certain conditions without obtaining permission from the copyright holder. It is intended to balance the interests of copyright owners with the needs of others for access to copy righted materials. Educators are the prime (but not the only beneficiaries of this provision. Without “fair use” copyright would not serve its constitutional purpose of “promoting the progress of Science and Useful Arts.” It limits the copyright owner’s monopoly by reserving to others the right to make reasonable uses of copyrighted materials without specific consent of the author. In January 1978 a new section (107) was put into effect. You should consider the following reasons when copying: - what am I copying? (consider the nature of the work (textbook, workbook, tests, poetry, novel, music?) - how much am I copying? (think about how important the copied portion is to the entire text) (how many copies am I making?) - what are my purposes for copying? (it is stated that fair use includes copying for purposes of criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching {including multiple choice copies for classroom use}, scholarship, or research) - under what conditions am I copying? (what are the effects on potential market sales?) (will the owner suffer unreasonable financial loss because of my copying?) The amount of work legally available under “fair use” varies with the format, but generally, copying should not exceed 10% of the total work.

When was the “Fair Use” Law Enacted? What Criteria Should I Consider When Copying?

How Much Can I Copy?

The Need to Copy Because teachers want to bring excellent and appropriate materials to their classrooms and to their students at the “teachable moment”, and given our tight budgets, it is no wonder we have a need to copy many items, and we are tempted to infringe the copyright law by excessive copying. Besides the threat of a lawsuit hanging over our heads, we should also consider the ethical issue of “setting an example”. When teachers and administrators violate the copyright law, students may get the impression that breaking the law is okay, as long as no one gets caught. Yes, you can make copies of any of the following: a. a chapter of a book b. an article from a magazine 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 You can make multiple copies (not to exceed more than one copy per pupil in a course). All must bear the copyright notice. a. a poem or excerpts from poems of less than 250 words b. a complete article, story or essay of less than 2,500 words c. prose excerpts of 1000 words or 10% of the work, whichever is less d. one chart, graph, diagram, *cartoon, or picture per book or magazine issue e. excerpts from children’s books containing up to 10% of the work in text You CANNOT copy any copyrighted, syndicated cartoon character!!! You may not make copies of the following items: a. more than one work or two excerpts from a single author during one class term b. more than three works from a collective work on periodical volume during one class term c. more than nine sets of multiple copies for

Is It Legal to Copy Anything? Single Copies of….

Multiple Copies of….

*NOTE What is illegal?

A Big NO-NO Important…


distribution to students in one class term d. copies used to create or replace or substitute for anthologies or collective works e. copies of “consumable” works such as workbooks, standardized tests, answer sheets, etc. f. copies without including the copyright notice g. copies made to avoid the purchase of books, reprints, music, or periodicals h. copies of the same items, reproduced term to term It is also prohibited to be directed by a higher authority to make illegal copies. It is illegal to copy to extend the life of a worn-out ditto master by thermal or xerographic process!! Once the master is used up in the ditto process, it may not be reproduced in any manner unless permission is obtained from the owner. These prohibitions do not apply to current news magazines and newspapers.

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