Skip to Main Content

Copyright Basics

Links to information on copyright, fair use, the TEACH Act, and more.

Basics of Fair Use

Four Criteria of Fair Use

1. The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes

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

4. The effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work

Class Handouts

Photocopied portions of books may be distributed to students in your face-to-face class using the following guidelines:

  • Neccessary to meet a non-profit educational objective
  • Can not be a directive from administration
  • One (1) copy per student
  • 10 pages or less than 10% of the book
  • Copies of workbooks may NOT be distributed under any circumstances


Portion Limitations for Fair Use

1. A complete poem if less than 250 words and if printed on not more than two pages or, from a longer poem, an excerpt of not more than 250 words.

2. Either a complete article, story or essay of less than 2,500 words, or an excerpt from any prose work of not more than 1,000 words or 10% of the work, whichever is less.

3. One chart, graph, diagram, drawing, cartoon or picture per book or per periodical issue.

4. 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 entirety.

If you need to use a larger amount of a copyrighted publication, you will need to seek permission from the current copyright holder. For information on doing this, consult the links below.

Have a question? Ask a librarian! Email Call or text 386-747-9028.