Unlike academic coursepacks, other educational materials can be used without permission in certain circumstances. Some of these uses are permitted under the copyright law and others are considered as a fair use. To be certain, we recommend using the Fair Use Checklist.
Keep in mind
that none of these guidelines permit creation of coursepacks to avoid
royalties to the original authors, but they do allow uses that involve
much less material than is used in a coursepack. Below we answer some
questions about these guidelines.
What Is an
The educational fair use guidelines apply to material used in educational institutions and for educational purposes. Examples of educational institutions include K-12 schools, colleges and universities. Libraries, museums, hospitals and other nonprofit institutions also are considered educational institutions under most educational fair use guidelines when they engage in nonprofit instructional, research, or scholarly activities for educational purposes.
"Educational purposes" means:
The guidelines permit a teacher to make one copy of any of the following for his/her own use in teaching preparation and research:
Teachers may photocopy articles to hand out in class, but the guidelines impose restrictions.
Examples of what can be copied and distributed in class include:
The idea to make the copies must come from the teacher, not from school administrators or other higher authority. Only nine instances of such copying for one course during one school term are permitted. In addition, the idea to make copies and their actual classroom use must be so close together in time that it would be unreasonable to expect a timely reply to a permission request. For example, the instructor finds a newsweekly article on capital punishment two days before presenting a lecture on the subject.
Teachers may not photocopy workbooks, texts, standardized tests or other materials that were created for educational use. The guidelines were not intended to allow teachers to usurp the profits of educational publishers. In other words, educational publishers do not consider it a fair use if the copying provides replacements or substitutes for the purchase of books, reprints, periodicals, tests, workbooks, anthologies, compilations or collective works.