This is the "Home" page of the "Copyright and Fair Use" guide.
Alternate Page for Screenreader Users
Skip to Page Navigation
Skip to Page Content

Copyright and Fair Use   Tags: copyright  

This guide offers brief information on how members of educational institutions can observe copyright laws. Key information on the Fair Use Doctrine is also included.
Last Updated: Jun 12, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

Home Print Page

General Copyright Protections

The copyright law is designed to protect works of the mind.  The author or creator of a work has four exclusive rights:

  • The right to reproduce the work
  • The right to adapt the work or produce derivative works
  • The right to distribute the work to the public
  • The right to display the work publicly (this refers to paintings, photographs, sculpture, etc)


Helm, V. M. (1986). What educators should know about copyright. Bloomington, IN:
            Phi Delta Kappa Educational Foundation. 



Fair Use

Copyright law rights do have some limitations.  Most important to educators are the four factors of “Fair Use.”  These factors apply to print and electronic course reserves, media reserves and interlibrary loan.    The four factors determine fair use:

1.      The use of the copyrighted work takes place in a non-profit or educational setting. Absence of financial gain is insufficient for finding fair use.

2.      The nature of the copyrighted work is given specific consideration to determine whether or not the work is creative or informational in nature.

3.      The amount, substantiality, or portion used does not detract from the work as a whole.

4.      The effect of the use on the potential market of the copyrighted work is not compromised.



Helm, V. M. (1986). What educators should know about copyright. Bloomington, IN:
        Phi Delta Kappa Educational Foundation.


CONFU - Conference on Educational and Library Fair Use

Conference on Educational and Library Fair Use (CONFU) Guidelines

Educational Fair Use Guidelines for Educational Multimedia


These guidelines briefly apply to the use, without permission, of portions of lawfully acquired copyrighted works in educational multimedia projects which are created by educators as part of a systematic learning activity in non-print environments.  They are not to be read as superseding fair use guidelines in lieu of the Copyright Act of 1976.



Limitations – Time, Portion, Copying and Distribution

1.      Educators may use their multimedia projects created for educational purposes for up to two years after the first instructional use with a class.

2.      Up to 10% or three minutes of a copyrighted motion picture media work may be reproduced.  Up to 10%, but no more than 30 seconds of a song, music video or lyrics may be used – alterations to a musical work may not change the basic melody or the fundamental character of the work.

3.      A photograph or illustration may be used in its entirety but no more than five images by an artist may be reproduced.  Not more than 10% or 15 images may be reproduced from an entire published work.

4.      Access to works on the internet does not automatically mean that these can be reproduced and reused without permission.


Electronic Reserves – CONFU

1.      Documents are accessible by faculty name and course.

2.      Access is limited to currently enrolled students and faculty.

3.      Passwords for electronic access are assigned by the library staff for each class.

4.      Faculty may link electronic reserve pages from courseware or personal pages.



 Crews, K. D. (with Buttler, D. K., Frisby, M. J., Gushrowski, B., O’Donnell, J., Parman, R. &
         Rivera-Morales, N.) (2000). Copyright essentials for librarians and educators. 
Chicago, IL: American Library Association.

Russell, C. (Ed.). (2004). Complete copyright: an everyday guide for librarians.  Chicago, 
          IL: American Library Association.


(TEACH) Act - Technology Education and Copyright Harmonization

Technology Education and Copyright Harmonization (TEACH) Act

1.      The Act is focused on practices that are essential to the traditional and electronic classroom experience.

2.      Charts, journal articles, maps, book chapters, some types of music and course reserves may be used.

3.      Works produced by another faculty member at a different institution for the purpose of distance education, required textbooks and unlawfully made copies may not be used.

4.      Transfers from analog to digital formats are allowable if a digital format it not available, only a portion is copied, is not being shared with other institutions, no other digital copies are made.

5.      Course materials are protected by copyright and digital access to such materials must be limited to registered students by using technology. For example, course materials can only be accessed through use of a password.

6.      Technological measures made by copyright holders must not be “hacked.”

7.      Electronic protection of digital materials must not impede intellectual freedom or student privacy.




Russell, C. (Ed.). (2004). Complete copyright: an everyday guide for librarians. Chicago, 
        IL: American Library Association.


Books from the Catalog

Cover Art
Complete copyright : an everyday guide for librarians - Russell, Carrie
Call Number: REF. 346.7304 C737C
ISBN: 0838935435

Cover Art
Technology and copyright law: a guidebook for the library, research, and teaching professions - Bielefield, Arlene
Call Number: Ref. 346.7304 B587T
ISBN: 1555705707

Cover Art
Copyright for schools: a practical guide - Simpson, Carol, 1949 -
Call Number: 346.7304 S613C
ISBN: 1586831925

Cover Art
Copyright law and the distance education classroom - Lipinski, Tomas A., 1958-
ISBN: 0810851717


Loading  Loading...