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Copyright and Fair Use

General

Copyright and Fair Use
  • Fair Use allows educators greater freedom in using copyrighted materials.
  • Copyright is held for a limited time so that copyrighted works do, in time, come into the public domain. Title 17 of the United States Code, the United States Copyright Act, also places limitations on the exclusive rights to copyrighted material during the time the material is covered by copyright. One important limitation is commonly known as the Fair Use Exemption in the Copyright Act.
  • The fair use exemption states that fair use is the use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research.
  • It is up to you to determine if the material to be used falls within Fair Use. To determine this, you must consider these four factors:
    • the purpose of the use of the copyrighted work,
    • the nature of the copyrighted work,
    • the amount of the copyrighted work to be used, and
    • the effect of reproduction on the sale of the copyrighted work.
  • There exist situations where the Fair Use Exemption does not apply.
    • You are responsible for obtaining copyright permission for any use of materials that does not comply with the fair use exemption, or any other exemption provided by the Copyright Act.
    •  Recognizing when you will need to obtain copyright permission often depends on the nature of the material being used and the length of time you will be making the copyrighted material available.
    • For example, the fair use exemption does not allow for the reproduction of large portions of a work or for making it available for a long period of time, because this can affect the sale of the work (the third and fourth factors of the fair use exemption).
  • Copyright Clearance Guidelines
    • It is imperative that you include a copyright notice and citation with all materials you use.
    • When you copy print materials, please be sure to include all source information.
    • When you duplicate/present material electronically, you will be instructed by the software you are using to include appropriate copyright notice and citation information.
  • Obtaining copyright clearance
    • You may want to use the Copyright Consideror< http://www.lengel.net/cc/>, an online tool that will help you get the job done, or follow these steps:
      • Identify the copyright owner(s).
      • Beware, especially with music and media, multiple parties may hold the rights and each party must be accounted for when obtaining permission.
      • Remember, the absence of a copyright notice does not mean that the work is in the public domain.
      • Contact the copyright owner(s) & secure permission.
      • Contact the owner directly; or
      • Use a collective rights organization such as the Copyright Clearance Center<http://www.copyright.com/>. A collective rights organization may be the only way to get permission in some cases.
        • You may save on fees if you contact a copyright owner directly.
        • Request permission only for the portion of the work you need.
        • Fees are often based on how many copies will be needed and the length of time copies will be in use.
        • Here's a great site where you will find samples of permission letters: <http://copyright.columbia.edu/copyright/permissions/requesting-permission/model-forms/>.
        • Keep a detailed record of your quest for obtaining permission.
  • Activities Guidelines
    • Continuous use of material may require copyright clearance.
    • A key aspect in determining whether or not you can claim fair use of many types of material is tied to the issue of continuous use of that material.
    •  For materials listed in this category, be aware that these materials:
      • do not require copyright clearance for the first semester of use by a class
      • require copyright clearance for continuous use in the semesters immediately following the first semester of use
      • must be password and electronic-duplication protected if digital
    • Materials covered by these guidelines include:
      • Reproductions of short works
      • Reproductions of excerpts from longer works. Although the U. S. copyright law does not specify the length of excerpts allowed, common practice among many institutions of higher education is to limit excerpts to not more than 10% of the entirety whether in printed or electronic format.
      • Hyperlinking does not require copyright clearance.
        • The following materials do not require copyright clearance for any semester of use:
          • Hyperlinks to all copyrighted material available on the Internet. (See additional information about gaining off-campus access to links and information about deep linking.)
          • Hyperlinks to public domain material on the Internet or reproductions of any public domain material such as most government documents.
    • Sometimes copyright clearance is always required.
      • The following materials require copyright clearance for all semesters, including the first semester, of use:
      • Reproductions of any digital copyrighted material that is not password and electronic-duplication protected.
      • Reproductions of entire long works whether in printed or electronic form.
      • Reproductions of multiple parts from longer works. Although the U. S. copyright law does not specify the quantity of multiple parts allowed, common practice among many institutions of higher education is to limit parts to not more than 10% of the entirety whether in printed or electronic format.
      • Reproductions of works as a collection that could serve as a substitute for a published anthology of works by separate authors or a published collection of works by a single author.
      • Reproductions of workbooks, exercises, standardized tests and test booklets and other published consumable material.
      • Reproductions of materials from sources under license or contract.