Copyright Issues

Guidelines for classroom copying developed by the Ad Hoc Committee of Educational Institutions and Organizations on Copyright Law Revision, the Authors League of America, Inc., and the Association of American Publishers, and printed in the House Judiciary Committee Report (H. Rept. 94-1476), pp.68-70

Agreement on Guidelines for Classroom Copying in Not-for-Profit Educational Institutions with Respect to Books and Periodicals

The purpose of the following guidelines is to state the minimum and not the maximum standards of educational fair use under section 107 of H.R. 2223. The parties agree that the conditions determining the extent of permissible copying for educational purposes may change in the future; that certain types of copying permitted under these guidelines may not be permissible in the future; and conversely that in the future other types of copying not permitted under these guidelines may be permissible under revised guidelines. Moreover, the following statement of guidelines is not intended to limit the types of copying permitted under the standards of fair use under judicial decision and which are stated in Section 107 of the Copyright Revision Bill. There may be instances in which copying, which does not fall within the guidelines stated below, may nonetheless be permitted under the criteria of fair use. 

[Note: The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act were passed during 1998. The Technology Education and Copyright Hamonization (TEACH) Act was finalized in 2002 and expands educators right to perform & display works for digital distance education. All three Laws amend the 1976 Copyright Act. Database protection legislation is still being discussed. When guidelines are available, documentation will be included in the CCC Copyright Policy Statement.]


I. Single Copying For Teachers A single copy may be made of any of the following by or for teachers at their individual request for their scholarly research or else in teaching or preparation to teach a class:

a. a chapter from a book;
b. an article from a periodical or newspaper;
c. a short story, short essay, or short poem, whether or not from a collective work;
d. a chart, graph, diagram, drawing, cartoon, or picture from a book, periodical, or newspaper.

II. Multiple Copies For Classroom Use Multiple copies (not to exceed in any event more than one copy per pupil in course) may be made by or for the teacher giving the course for classroom use or for the teacher giving the course for classroom use or discussion; provided that:
a. the copying meets the tests of brevity and spontaneity as defined below; and,
b. meets the cumulative effect test as defined below; and
c. each copy includes a notice of copyright.



(i) Poetry: (a) a complete poem if less than 250 words and if printed on not more that two pages or, (b) from a longer poem, an excerpt of not more that 250 words.

(ii) Prose: (a) either a complete article, story, or essay of less than 2,500 words, or (b) an whichever is less, but in any event a minimum of 500 words.
(Each of the numeral limits stated in "i" and "ii" above may be expanded to permit the completion of an unfinished line of a poem or of an unfinished prose paragraph).

(iii) Illustration: one chart, graph, diagram, drawing, cartoon, or picture per book or per periodical issue.

(iv) "Special" works: certain works in poetry, prose, or in "poetic prose" which often combine language with illustrations and which are intended sometimes for children and at other times for a more general audience fall short of 2,500 words in their entirely. Paragraph "ii" above notwithstanding such "special works" may not be reproduced in their entirety; however, an excerpt comprising not more than two of the published pages of such special work and containing not more than 10% of the words found in the text thereof, may be reproduced.


(i) The copying is at the instance and inspiration of the individual teacher, and

(ii) The inspiration and decision to use the work and the moment of its use for maximum teaching effectiveness are so close in time that it would be unreasonable to expect a timely reply to a request for permission.

Cumulative Effect

(i) The copying of the material is for only one course in the school in which the copies are made.

(ii) Not more than one short poem, article, story, essay, or two excerpts, may be copied from the same author, nor more that three from the same collective work or periodical volume during one class term.

III Prohibitions As To I and II Above

Notwithstanding any of the above, the following shall be prohibited:

A. Copying shall not be used to create or to replace or substitute for anthologies, compilations, or collective works. Such replacement or substitution may occur whether copies of various works or excerpts therefrom are accumulated or reproduced and used separately.

B. There shall be no copying of or from works intended to be "consumable" in the course of study or of teaching. These include workbooks, exercises, standardized tests and test booklets, and answer sheets and like material.

C. Copying shall not:

(a) substitute for the purchase of books, publishers' reprints, or periodicals;
(b) be directed by higher authority;
(c) be repeated with respect to the same item by the same teacher from term to term.

D. No charge shall be made to the student beyond the actual cost of the photocopying.


The concept of "teacher" in these guidelines is considered by the House Judiciary Committee to be defined broadly enough "to include instructional specialists working in consultation with actual instructors" according to Subcommittee Chairman Kastenmeier in a speech on the House Floor (Congressional Record, September 22, 1976, p. H10875).


The library purchases a wide range of educational and entertainment videotapes for inlibrary use and for lending to patrons. Since ownership of a physical object is different from ownership of the copyright therein, guidelines are necessary to define what we can do with the videotapes we own without infringing the copyrights we don't. If a particular use would be an infringement, permission can always be sought from the copyright owner.

In-classroom performance of a copyrighted videotape is permissible under the following conditions:

1. The performance must be by instructors (including guest lecturers) or by students.
2. The performance is in connection with face-to-face teaching activities.
3. The entire audience is involved in the teaching activities.
4. The entire audience is in the same room or same general area.
5. The teaching activities are conducted by a non-profit educational institution.
6. The performance takes place in a classroom or similar place devoted to instruction, such as a library, gym, auditorium, or workshop.
7. The videotape is lawfully made; the person responsible had no reason to believe that the videotape was unlawfully made.

Copyright Law for Off-Air Videotaping

Faculty who wish to record off-air television or satellite programming for instructional purposes must make arrangements for Multi-Media and Distant Learning Services to do the taping. Taping programs off air at home for use in the classroom is not permitted by federal copyright law. Programs taped off air must be used in conformance with the following copyright law guidelines:

1. The programming may be retained for the first forty-five consecutive days after date of recording. At the end of the retention period, all recordings must be erased.
2. Recordings may be used once by individual teachers during relevant teaching activities and repeated once only if instructional reinforcement is necessary during the first ten consecutive school days.
3. Recordings may be made only at the request of, and used by, individual teachers and may not be regularly recorded in anticipation of requests.

For more detailed information regarding the copyright laws as they pertain to off-air recording, contact Multi-Media and Distant Learning Services.

Computer Software

Reproducing computer software without authorization violates the US Copyright Law. It is a Federal offense. The money paid for a software product represents a license fee for the use of one copy. It does not represent an authorization to copy. Civil damages for unauthorized software copying can be as much as $50,000 or more and criminal penalties include fines and imprisonment.

The Teach Act

To amend chapter 1 of title 17, United States Code, relating to the exemption of certain performances or displays for educational uses from copyright infringement provisions, to provide that the making of a single copy of such performances or displays is not an infringement, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


This Act may be cited as the Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization Act of 2001.


Section 110(2) of title 17, United States Code, is amended--

(1) by striking the matter preceding sub-paragraph (A) and inserting the following:
(2) except with respect to a work produced primarily for instructional use or a performance or display that is given by means of a copy that is not lawfully made and acquired under this title, and the transmitting governmental body or nonprofit educational institution knew or had reason to believe was not lawfully made and acquired, the performance of a nondramatic literary or musical work or reasonable and limited portions of any other work, or display of a work, by or in the course of a transmission, reproduction of such work in transient copies or phonorecords created as a part of the automatic technical process of a digital transmission, and distribution of such copies or phonorecords in the course of such transmission, to the extent technologically necessary to transmit the performance or display, if--';
(2) in subparagraph (A) by striking all beginning with ``the performance' through ``regular' and inserting the following: ``the performance or display is made by or at the direction of an instructor as an integral part of a class session offered as a regular';
(3) by striking subparagraph (C) and inserting the following:

(C) the transmission is made solely for, and, to the extent technologically feasible, the reception ofsuch transmission is limited to--

(i) students officially enrolled in the course for which the transmission is made; or

(ii) officers or employees of governmental bodies as part of their official duties or employment; and'; and

(4) by adding at the end the following:
(D) any transient copies are retained for no longer than reasonably necessary to complete the transmission; and
(E) the transmitting body or institution--
(i) institutes policies regarding copyright, provides informational materials to faculty, students, and relevant staff members that accurately describe, and promote compliance with, the laws of the United States relating to copyright, and provides notice to students that materials used in connection with the course may be subject to copyright protection; and

(ii) in the case of digital transmissions, applies technological measures that reasonably prevent unauthorized access to and dissemination of the work, and does not intentionally interfere with technological measures used by the copyright owner to protect the work.'.


(a) In General.--Section 112 of title 17, United States Code, is amended--

(1) by redesignating subsection (f) as subsection (g); and
(2) by inserting after subsection (e) the following:``(f) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 106, and without limiting the application of subsection (b), it is not an infringement of copyright for a governmental body or other nonprofit educational institution entitled to transmit a performance or display of a work that is in digital form under section 110(2) to make copies or
phonorecords embodying the performance or display to be used for making transmissions authorized under section 110(2), if--
(1) such copies or phonorecords are retained and used solely by the body or institution that made them, and no further copies or phonorecords are reproduced from them, except as authorized under section 110(2);
(2) such copies or phonorecords are used solely for transmissions authorized under section 110(2); and
(3) the body or institution does not intentionally interfere with technological measures used by the copyright owner to protect the work.'.

(b) Technical and Conforming Amendment.--Section 802(c) of title 17, United States Code, is amended in the third sentence by striking
``section 112(f)' and inserting ``section 112(g)'.


(a) Report.--Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the Copyright Office shall conduct a study and submit a report to Congress on the status of--

(1) licensing by private and public educational institutions of copyrighted works for digital distance education programs, including--

(A) live interactive distance learning classes;
(B) faculty instruction recorded without students present for later transmission; and
(C) asynchronous delivery of distance learning over computer networks; and

(2) the use of copyrighted works in such programs.
(b) Conference.--Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the Copyright Office shall--

(1) convene a conference of interested parties, including representatives of copyright owners, nonprofit educational institutions and nonprofit libraries and archives to develop guidelines for the use of copyrighted works for digital distance education under the fair use doctrine and section 110 (1) and (2) of title 17, United States Code;
(2) to the extent the Copyright Office determines appropriate, submit to the Committees on the Judiciary of the Senate and the House of Representatives such guidelines, along with information on the organizations, Government agencies, and institutions participating in the guideline development and endorsing the guidelines; and
(3) post such guidelines on an Internet website for educators, copyright owners, libraries, and other interested persons.

Copyright Clearence Center