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Fair Use Allowance for Teachers and Classroom Purposes

1 Single Copy

For scholarly research or for use in teaching or preparing a class, teachers may make a single copy of the following:

  • A chapter from a book

  • An article from a magazine, newspaper, or Internet website

  • A short story, short essay, or short poem

  • A chart, graph, diagram, drawing, cartoon, or picture from a book, magazine, newspaper, or Internet website

2 Multiple Copies

Multiple copies may be made for classroom use (one copy per student) only if your copying meets all four of the following conditions: 

The content of the copies is brief.​

The following guidelines for brevity apply: 

  • Complete poems of not more than 250 words or excerpts from not more than 250 words from longer poems may be copied.

  • A complete article, story, or essay of less than 2,500 words, or a maximum of either 1,000 words or 10% of any prose work with a minimum of 500 words may be copied.

  • One chart, graph, diagram, drawing, cartoon, or picture per book or per magazine may be copied.

  • "Special works" for children that combine pictures and have fewer than 2,500 words may not be copied in their entirety and only 10% of the words or not more than two (2) pages of special works that have more than 2,500 words may be copied.

Your decision to distribute copies in the classroom is spontaneous.

  • That is, you thought of distributing the materials so close to the time you have to use them in class that you could not seek and obtain permission for copying.

Your copying does not violate the rule against "cumulative effect."

This rule provides that you:

  • May make copies only for your class

  • May not copy more than one short poem, article, story, or essay from the same author; more than two excerpts from the same author; or more than three poems, articles, stories, essays, or excerpts from the same anthology or magazine during one class term

  • May not engage in multiple copying more than nine times for one class in one term

Each copy identifies the creator and includes a notice of copyright.

Notwithstanding the copying allowed above, you may not:

  • Make copies to create, replace, or substitute for anthologies, compilations, or collective works

  • Make copies of works that are intended to be "consumable," such as workbooks, exercises, standardized tests and test booklets, answer sheets, and the like

  • Make copies of the same material from term to term

  • Make copies solely because the principal requests copies

  • Use copies as a substitute for buying books, magazines, reprints, etc.

  • Charge students for copies beyond the actual cost

3 Screening Films, Videos, Documentaries, and Other Recorded Materials

If you want to show your students a film, video, documentary, or television program, you can do so without having to obtain prior permission from the creators or a screening license only if all seven of the following conditions apply: 

  • You are a member of the faculty of the school.

  • The class is part of the regular offerings of the school.

  • The work was acquired lawfully (i.e., it is not a bootleg or a duplicate copy of a rented work).

  • You plan to display, perform, or transmit the work over a secure inside-the-school-only network, only to students in your own class.

  • You do not transmit the work via your own website or disseminate it through email or any other electronic means.

  • The work is directly related to the content of the class (i.e., it is not for entertainment or your own research).

  • You make sure that the work's copyright notice is shown, or you post a notice saying that the work may be copyright protected.

If the seven conditions set forth above do not apply, you need to obtain a license for use.

Before sharing any media with students, teachers must familiarize themselves with the Educator's Guidelines for the Use of All Media​.

Teachers shall inform parents/guardians if media are going to be used in the classroom and allow them to opt out (see Parent/Guardian Permission for Child to View Media​).