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Faculty Information Guide: Copyright & Teaching

Use of Materials in the Classroom & Online

In the Classroom

In the physical classroom, materials may be photocopied and distributed to students as long as the principles of fair use are followed.

  • Each copy must include a notice of copyright
  • Copyright permission may be required when using photocopies during two or more semesters (concurrent or not)
  • Audiovisual works such as DVDs and sound recordings may be displayed or played providing that the copy is lawful

Faculty members are permitted to copy:

  • A complete poem, if it is less than 250 words and printed on not more than two pages
  • An excerpt from a longer poem, if it is less than 250 words
  • A complete article, story, or essay, if it is less than 2,500 words
  • An excerpt from a prose work, if it is less than 1,000 words or 10 percent of the work, whichever is less
  • One chart, graph, diagram, drawing, cartoon, or picture per book or periodical
  • Faculty is NOT permitted to copy and distribute:
    • Multiple copies of a work for classroom use if it has already been copied for another class in the same institution
    • Multiple copies of a short poem, article, story or essay from the same author more than once in a class term or take multiple copies from the same collective work or periodical issue more than three times a year
    • Copies of works to take the place of an anthology
    • Copies of "consumable" materials, such as workbooks

Online

Under the TEACH Act, an amendment to the copyright law, copyrighted materials are permitted to be distributed digitally to enrolled students without gaining prior copyright permission. However certain criteria must be met before employing the rules of the TEACH Act:

  • The use of copyrighted sources must be within the confines of "mediated instructional activities"
  • Audiovisual materials are more limited in a digital environment--"smaller and discreet" portions of the work should be displayed unless displaying the entire performance is essential to the course
  • Links to articles in research databases may be included in the institution's website, including course managment software
  • Materials transmitted electronically must be limited to students currently enrolled in the course and must be made unavailable at the end of the course