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Copyright Basics: Suggested Guidelines
This guide helps you sort through the tangled web of Copyright!
A 2007 Brochure Aimed at Faculty and Teaching Assistants
Among the topics covered in the brochure are: fair use, the
advantage of linking to instead of copying works, and special
provisions for displaying or performing works in classes. The brochure
also includes a one-page chart that highlights 24 situations when
various categories of works can be used.
What is Allowed
Under the “fair use” rule of copyright
law, a person may make limited use of another author’s work without
asking permission. As I note in the Fair Use Checklist box:
"There's no one right answer as
to what constitutes a "fair use" of a particular copyrighted work.
The answer varies from situation to situation."
So with this in mind please use
these guidelines as a suggested starting point and be sure to
fill out a checklist in order to establish correct copyright use. The following content amounts are within current copyright laws.
A single chapter from a book (5% of work for in print;
10% of work for out of print)
A single article from a journal issue or newspaper
A short story, essay, or poem from an individual work.
A chart, diagram, graph, drawing, cartoon, or picture
from a book, journal, magazine, or newspaper.
Copies made should not substitute the purchase of
books, journals, etc.
Always provide a copyright notice on the first page of
the copied material. At bare minimum your notice should state:
"Notice: This material is subject to the copyright law of the United
Provide only one copy per student.
Copying the works for subsequent semesters requires
copyright permission from the publisher.
Using Materials Found on the
Always credit the source
If you are using the information on your personal
webpage ask permission or simply link to the site
If you receive permission to use the material keep a
copy for your records
Multimedia works are created by
combining copyrighted elements such as movies, music, sounds, graphics, and
text. It is recommended that you use only small portions of other
Up to 10% or three minutes, whichever is less
Up to 10% or 1,000 words, whichever is less. (The limits on poetry are
to 10% of an individual copyrighted musical composition. 10% of a
copyrighted musical composition on a sound recording. However, no more
than 30 seconds may be used without gaining permission from the copyright
owner and/or publisher.
Photos and Illustrations: Based on the below guidelines, "a photograph or
illustration may be used in its entirety, but no more than five images by
one artist or photographer may be incorporated into any one multimedia
program. From a published collective work, not more than 10% or 15 images,
whichever is less, may be used."