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

  • A chapter from a book;
  • An article from a periodical or newspaper;
  • A short story, essay or short poem;
  • A chart, graph, diagram, drawing, cartoon or picture from a book, periodical or newspaper.


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

  • Not produce more than one copy of the materials per student enrolled in the course.
  • Not charge students more than the actual cost of reproduction.
  • 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.
  • Not handout the same photocopied materials from one semester to the next without obtaining permission.
  • 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.
  • Follow the guidelines to meet the tests of brevity, spontaneity, and cumulative effect, as described below.

Accepted examples of photocopied materials include:

  • A complete article, story or essay of less than 2,500 words.
  • An 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.
  • A complete poem if less than 250 words printed on not more than two pages.
  • An excerpt of not more than 250 words of a longer poem.
  • One chart, diagram, graph, drawing, cartoon or picture from a single book or periodical issue.
  • Excerpt from sheet music if not a performable unit and if no more than 10% of the complete 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 meet only the test of spontaneity.

Cumulative Effect

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

  • 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.
  • 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. (See Spontaneity guidelines)
  • 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 newpapers. (See Spontaneity guidelines.)
  • Not make multiple copies of materials more than nine(9) instances for one course during a semester.


Material posted to the Internet (e.g., to a web site) 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 produced after 1978 may be still be protected by copyright even if it does not carry the © or any other kind of copyright notice.


This checklist may help you make a judgment about whether the use you're considering is fair use:

Step-by-step guide to getting permission to reproduce copyrighted material:


If you have any questions about copyright as you prepare for your fall classes, you can contact Jeanne Catalano, Linda Roesch, or the Marietta College Bookstore.

Individual Contact Information Primary Expertise
Jeanne Catalano, X4360 library reserves
Linda Roesch, X4815 online courses and instruction
Marietta College Bookstore X4528 coursepacks


All College faculty members who willfully disregard copyright law accept all responsibility and assume all liability for their actions.