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Legacy Library

Copyright : Tips for Fair Use

Useful information regarding copyright considerations.

Making single copies for teaching & scholarly research

For class preparation or scholarly research, you may make a single copy of portions of any of the following copyrighted materials:

  1. a chapter from a book;
  2. a article from a periodical or newspaper;
  3. a short story, essay, or short poem;
  4. a chart graph, diagram, drawing, cartoon or picture from a book, periodical or newspaper.

Making multiple copies for use in the classroom

When making multiple copies of materials for classroom use, you should:

  1. not produce more than one copy of the materials per student enrolled in the course;
  2. not charge students more than the actual cost of reproduction;
  3. not make copies to create, replace or substitute for anthologies, compilations, collective works, or textbooks without obtaining permission; (Contact the College Bookstore, to arrange for a coursepack to be made)
  4. not handout the same photocopied materials from one semester to the next without obtaining permission: and
  5. include a copyright notice ( such as, "Material may be covered by copyright. See your instructor for more information.") on the first page of the photocopied material.

In making multiple copies, you might want to consider the tests of brevity, spontaneity, and cumulative effect , as described in the next three boxes.


Accepted examples of photocopied materials include:

  1. a complete article, story or essay of less than 2,500 words;
  2. a excerpt from a book of not more than 1,000 words or 10% of the text, whichever is less, but in any case a minimum of 500 words;
  3. a complete poem of less than 250 words printed on not more than two pages;
  4. an excerpt of not more than 250 words for a longer poem;
  5. One chart, diagram, graph, drawing, cartoon or picture from a single book or periodical issue: and
  6. an excerpt from sheet music if not a performable unit and if no more than 10% of the completed work.


The decision to use a work and its scheduled use must be so close in time that you lack adequate time to expect permission to be obtained. Thus, you cannot re-use materials that only use the test of spontaneity.

Cumulative effect

Making multiple photocopies should not pose a potentially adverse effect on the marketplace. You should:

  1. copy materials to be used in only one course in the College. You should not photocopy materials for one course and also use them in another course;
  2. copy no more than one short story, poem, article, essay or two excerpts from the same author, with the exception of material from current news periodicals or newspapers;
  3. copy no more than three excerpts from the same book or periodical during a single semester, with the exception of material from current news periodicals or newspapers: and
  4. not make multiple copies of materials more than 9 instances for one course during a semester.


Digital materials

Material posted on the internet (e.g. to a website) has the same protection as any other material. Putting a work on the internet does not imply that the material is public domain or that it may be freely used. Material after 1978 may still be protected by copyright even if it doesn't  carry the © or any other kind of copyright notice.