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Copyright Information

Copyright Law
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Fair Use Information

A librarian or teacher may make multiple copies, not to exceed one per pupil, for classroom use of:

  • a complete poem of less than 250 words and printed on not more than two pages;
  • an excerpt of less than 250 words from a longer poem;
  • a story, essay, or article of less than 2,500 words;
  • one illustration (chart, graph, picture, diagram, cartoon, etc.) from a book or periodical; up to 10% of a unit of music for academic purposes other than performance.

A librarian or teacher may also copy a work, such as a score of music, in an emergency if one cannot be purchased in time, or may display a purchased copy of a copyright work through an opaque projector or document camera.

“Home Use Only” and/or rented Video discs

A librarian or teacher may show “home use only” or commercially rented videos if the following criteria are met:

  • the performance must take place in a classroom or other place of instruction in a non-profit educational institution;
  • the performance must be directed by students or teachers of the institution;
  • the performance must be in the course of face-to-face teaching activities;
  • the film or video must be made from a copy of the work which was legally made or acquired.

A librarian or teacher may not do the following:

  • copy from “consumable” works such as standardized tests, answer sheets, or class workbooks;
  • copy commercial videotapes, audiotapes, dvds, cd-roms or other like formats;
  • copy in order to create anthologies or to substitute for them;
  • copy on direction from higher authority;
  • copy to substitute for the purchase of books, periodicals, and music;
  • copy the same item from term to term without gaining permission;
  • copy more than one short work or two excerpts from one author’s work in a term;
  • make multiple copies more than nine times in the same class term;
  • make copies of music or lyrics for performance of any kind in the classroom or outside it; show a copyrighted video for entertainment purposes;
  • copy protected materials without inclusion of a notice of copyright

The impact of new technology on copyright law is profound and still evolving. The concept of intellectual property rights is a daily concern for school library media specialists as they try to provide video and computer resources for teachers and students on their campuses. It is recommended that each library have on hand at least one guide to assist in making appropriate copyright decisions.

Sources:

Simpson, Carol Mann. Copyright for Administrators, Linworth Books, 2008.

Simpson, Carol Mann: Copyright For Schools: A Practical Guide, 3rd Edition. Worthington (Ohio): Linworth Publishing, Inc., 2001.