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Copyright & Teach Act

"Fair Use" Concept for Copyright

The four factors of Fair Use as set by the U.S. Copyright Office are:

  1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
    • Is it for teaching and learning?
    • Does it promote a commercial or for-profit venture?
  2. the nature of the copyrighted work;
  3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
    • Is it the entire work?
    • Is it just a selection of a work?
  4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.
    • Is it still in print and can it be acquired? 
    • Can it be acquired from a book dealer at a reasonable price?
    • Would photocopying for the class prevent income for the author (e.g., a copyright fee is usually paid when using the work in a course pack)?

Text from: Copyright Fair Use

Clarifying the Concept of "Fair Use"

What Fair Use, traditionally used for photocopies or physical reproductions, means in simple terms:

  • Students - allowed to copy print resources for academic purposes only; not for commercial use. Signs are posted at public copy machines reminding the user that the fair use of photocopies has the limitations of non-commercial use. This may include text or images.
  • Librarians - sets up recommendations for interlibrary loan and the sharing of periodical print resources. A notice warning about copyright must be included with all photocopies. Guidelines were formulated to permit the loan of up to five requests per periodical title per year. If there is need for more uses than that, then the library or user was expected to pay a royalty or purchase a subscription.
  • Teachers - it defines how to deal with handouts in class. One time use is permitted, but in the future, must secure permission from the author or publisher. Use of the handouts after the first time may or may not require a fee.

The Copyright Clearance Center was developed to aid users in securing copyright permission and royalties. Participating vendors indicate the cost to make a copy of a resource in a variety of situations (personal, classroom, reserves, e-reserves, etc.). Many journals list the method to follow to secure permission and sometimes the cost. However, in some cases, the use would be free for academic purposes with permission from the author or publisher. In other cases, the library may own the item or electronic item, and the copyright may already have been paid in advance.

To remedy this situation, the LTU Library has a membership at the Copyright Clearance Center and can assist faculty with items that need a payment for a royalty.