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Handbook of Operating Procedures

Copyright Guidelines*

I. Single copying for teachers

A single copy may be made of any of the following or any part thereof by or for any faculty or staff member at his or her individual request:

  • A chapter from a book
  • An article from a periodical or newspaper
  • A short story, short essay, or short poem, whether or not from a collective work
  • 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 a course) may be made by or for the faculty giving the course for classroom use or discussion provided that

  • the copying meets the tests of brevity and spontaneity as defined below;
  • the copying meets the cumulative effect test as defined below; and
  • each copy includes a notice of copyright.

III. Prohibitions as to I and II above

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

  • Copying shall not be used to create or to replace or substitute for anthologies, compilations, or collective works. A prohibited replacement or substitution occurs regardless of whether copies of various works or excerpts there from are accumulated or are reproduced and used separately.
  • 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, test booklets, answer sheets, and similar consumable material.
  • Copying may not
    1. substitute for the purchase of books, publisher's reprints, or periodicals;
    2. be directed by higher authority; or
    3. be repeated with respect to the same item by the same teacher from term to term.
  • No charge may be made to the student beyond the actual cost of the photocopying.

IV. Definitions

  • Brevity
    1. Poetry: (a) A complete poem if fewer than 250 words and if printed on not more than two pages or (b) an excerpt of not more than 250 words from a longer poem.
    2. Prose: (a) All or any portion of a complete article, story, or essay of 2,500 words or fewer, or (b) an excerpt from any prose work of more than 2,500 words, which excerpt may be up to 1,000 words or 10% of the work, whichever is less, but a minimum of 500 words.

      (The numerical limits stated in "1" and "2" above may be expanded to permit the completion of an unfinished line of a poem or of an unfinished prose paragraph.

    3. Illustration: One chart, graph, drawing, cartoon, or picture per book or per periodical issue.
    4. "Special" works: Certain works in poetry, prose, or in "poetic prose" that often combine language with illustrations and that are intended sometimes for children and at other times for a more general audience fall short of 2,500 words in their entirety. Section "2" above notwithstanding, such special works may not be reproduced in their entirety; however, an excerpt constituting 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.
    5. Spontaneity
      1. The copying is at the instance and inspiration of the individual teacher, and
      2. 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.
    6. Cumulative Effect
      1. The copying of the material is for only one course in the school in which the copies are made.
      2. Not more than one short poem, article, story, essay or two excerpts may be copied from the same author, not more than three from the same collective work or periodical volume during one class term.
      3. There shall not be more than nine instances of such multiple copying for one course during one class term.
      (The limitations stated in "2" and "3" above shall not apply to current news periodicals and newspapers and current news sections of other periodicals.)

V. Permissions

When multiple photocopying of copyrighted material is not within the Guidelines, it is required that staff or faculty member request permission in writing. Communication of complete and accurate information to the copyright owner will facilitate the request. Although alternatives may be acceptable, the Association of American Publishers suggests that the following information be included to expedite the process:

  • Title, author, and/or editor, and edition of materials to be duplicated
  • Exact material to be used, giving amount, page number, chapters, and, if possible, a photocopy of the material
  • Number of copies to be made
  • Use to be made of duplicated materials
  • Form of distribution (classroom, newsletter, etc.)
  • Whether or not the material is to be sold
  • Type of reprint (ditto, photocopy, offset, typeset)

    The request should be sent, together with a self-addressed return envelope, to the permissions department of the publisher in question. If the address of the publisher does not appear at the front of the material, it may be obtained from The Literary Marketplace (for books) or Ulrich's International Periodicals (for journals), both published by the R.R. Bowker Company. For purposes of proof and to define the scope of the permission, it is important that permission be in writing.

The process of considering permission requests requires time for the publisher to check the status and ownership of rights and related matters, and to evaluate the request. It is advisable, therefore, to allow sufficient lead time. In some instances, the publisher may assess a fee for permission, which may be passed on to the students who receive copies of the photocopied material or be paid by the requesting component as an ordinary expense.

If occasional time exigencies obviate the usefulness of the prior request letter, then the infrequent use of telephone permissions is acceptable. These must be supported by a follow-up permission letter from the copyright proprietor.

*The purpose of these guidelines is to state the minimum standards of educational fair use for photocopying of written materials under Section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976, 17 USC Section 107.

Updated 4/91, 01/08