Skip to main content

Copyright and Fair Use: Compliance Guidelines for Faculty

Information on copyright law and fair use in an academic setting.

Print Reserves

The Library provides access to Course Reserve Materials in print format. Print Reserves are held at the Circulation Desk, and may be checked out with a valid SAU ID. Faculty can place items on reserve at the Circulation Desk. Electronic reserve readings are password protected materials available through Blackboard on any computer with Internet access. For more information on Print Reserves please call 333-6246. 

Obtaining Permission

Permission from copyright holders is often needed when creating course materials, research papers, and web sites. You need to obtain permission when you use a work in a way that infringes on the exclusive rights granted to a copyright holder (i.e. outside the boundaries of fair use).

Steps that need to be followed to obtain permission to use copyrighted material:

  1. Determine if permission is needed for the work you want to use.
  2. Identify the copyright holder or agent. 
  3. Send written request for permission to use. Remember to give yourself ample lead time, as the process for obtaining permissions can take months. Decide if you are willing to pay a licensing fee/royalty.
  4. If the copyright holder can't be located or is unresponsive (or if you are unwilling to pay a license fee), be prepared to use a limited amount that qualifies for fair use, or use alternative material.

For more information, visit the Copyright Clearnce Center's Obtaining Permission page.

Multimedia Copyright

"Up to 10% or 3 minutes, whichever is less, in the aggregate of a copyrighted motion media work may be reproduced or otherwise incorporated as part of a multimedia project."

Lehman, B.A. (1998). The Conference on Fair Use: Final report to the Commissioner on the conclusion of the Conference on Fair Use. Retrieved from http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/dcom/olia/confu/confurep.pdf

"Up to 10%, but in no event more than 30 seconds, of the music and lyrics from an individual musical work (or in the aggregate of extracts from an individual work), whether the musical work is embodied in copies, or audio or audiovisual works, may be reproduced or otherwise incorporated as a part of a multimedia project."

"Any alterations to a musical work shall not change the basic melody or the fundamental character of the work."

Lehman, B.A. (1998). The Conference on Fair Use: Final report to the Commissioner on the conclusion of the Conference on Fair Use. Retrieved from http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/dcom/olia/confu/confurep.pdf

"The reproduction or incorporation of photographs and illustrations is more difficult to define with regard to fair use because fair use usually precludes the use of an entire work. Under these guidelines a photograph or illustration may be used in its entirety but no more than 5 images by an artist or photographer may be reproduced or otherwise incorporated as part of an educational multimedia project."

"When using photographs and illustrations from a published collective work, not more than 10% or 15 images, whichever is less, may be reproduced or otherwise incorporated as part of an educational multimedia project." 

Lehman, B.A. (1998). The Conference on Fair Use: Final report to the Commissioner on the conclusion of the Conference on Fair Use. Retrieved from http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/dcom/olia/confu/confurep.pdf
Loading

Copying for Classroom Use

Copying of copyrighted materials for student learning and research use without written permission may occur in the following instances:

Single copying for teachers

Single copies may be made of any of the following by or for teachers at their individual request for scholarly research or use in teaching or preparation to teach a class:

  • One chapter from a book;
  • An article from a periodical, journal, 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 for student learning use

Multiple copies (not to exceed more than one copy per student in a course) may be made by or for the teacher giving the course for student learning use or discussion; provided that the following three criteria are met:

  • The copying meets the tests of brevity and spontaneity (as defined below).
  • The copying meets the cumulative effect test (as defined below).
  • Each copy includes a notice of copyright. An example is "this material may be protected by Copyright law (title 17, US Code)."

Definitions:

Brevity: Either a complete article, story or essay of less than 2,500 words, (usually varies 3-8 pages depending on size of page and type) or an excerpt from any prose work of not more than 1,000 words or 10 percent of the work, whichever is greater.

Spontaneity: The copying is at the instance and inspiration of the individual teacher, and the inspiration and decision to use the work.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.

Cumulative effect: Copying of the material is for only one course in the school in which the copies are made.