Presentation on Copyright

Digital Nuts and Bolts

Downloads with .pdf need Acrobat Reader to print or read. To get this powerful utility free, click on the icon.





What You Can Do

According to

 The Fine Print

 Printed Material

  • Poem less than 250 words
  • Excerpt of 250 words from a poem greater than 250 words
  • Articles, stories, or essays less than 2,500 words
  • Excerpt from a longer work (10% of work or 1,000 words, whichever is less--but a minimum of 500 words)
  • One chart, picture, diagram, graph, cartoon or picture per book or per periodical issue
  • Two pages (max) from an illustrated work less than 2,500 words (like childrens books)
Teachers may make multiple copies for classroom use (not more than one per student).

United States Copyright Office

Circular 21

Usage must be: At the "instance and inspiration of a single teacher". Timing doesn't allow for asking permission. Only for one course in the school. No more than 9 instances per class per term (current news publications don't count (e.g., newspapers)). Don't create anthologies. "Consumables" can't be copied. Don't do it every term (if time allows, seek permission). Can't be directed by "higher authority." Copying can't be substitute for buying. Copies may be made only from legally acquired originals.
  • A chapter from a book
  • An article from a periodical
  • Short story, short essay, or short poem
  • A chart, graph, diagram, drawing , cartoon, picture from a book, periodical or newspaper
Teachers may make a single copy for teacher use for research or lesson preparation.

United States Copyright Office

Circular 21

Same as above.

Text for Use in Multimedia Projects

  • Same rights as "Printed Material" above
Students may incorporate text in multimedia projects. Teachers may incorporate into multimedia for teaching courses. Fair Use Guidelines for Educational Multimedia Teachers may use for two years, after that permission is required. Students may keep in portfolio for life.


  • Videotapes (purchased)
  • Videotape (rented)
  • DVD
  • Laser Discs
Teachers may use these materials in the classroom without restrictions of length, percentage, or multiple use. Section 110 of the Copyright Act The material must legitimately acquired (a legal copy). It must be used in a classroom or similar place "dedicated to face-to-face instruction". Not for use as entertainment or reward. The use should be instructional. The place should be a non-profit educational institution.

  Video for Use in Multimedia Projects

  • Videotapes
  • DVD
  • Laser Discs
  • Quicktime Movies
  • Encyclopedias (CDROM)
 Students "may use portions of lawfully acquired copyrighted works in their academic multimedia"  Fair Use Guidelines for Educational Multimedia  

  Video for Integration into Video Projects



  • Videotapes
  • DVD
  • Laser Discs
  • Quicktime Movies
  • Encyclopedias (CDROM)
Students "may use portions of lawfully acquired copyrighted works in their academic multimedia"   Fair Use Guidelines for Educational Multimedia  







 Music for Integration into Multimedia / Video Projects







  • Broadcast
  • ABC
  • NBC
  • PBS
  • Tapes made from broadcast
Live "off the air" broadcasts may be used for instruction. Tapes made from broadcasts may be used for instruction.  Congress Things get interesting when you want to retain tapes. Minimum rights allow for 10 school days. Rights holders may allow for much more.

 Cable Television

  • CNN
  • MTV
  • HBO (etc.)
  • Tapes made from cable.
May be used with persmission. Many programs may be retained for years--depending on the program. Check with Cable in the Classroom. Cable Associations The guidelines for television programs were defined by Congress before cable television was a factor. Cable programs are not technically covered by the same guidelines as broadcast television.

 Film or Filmstrip

. .  
  • 16 millimeter films
  • filmstrips
"Teachers may duplicate a single copy of a small protion...for teaching purposes" Copyright Policy and Guildelines for California's School Districts , California Department of Education  These must be films or filmstrips that you own.


Note: In the letter to Congressional Subcommittee Chair Kastenmeier dated 3/19/76 summarizing many of the above agreements, representatives of the Ad Hoc Committee of Educational institutions and Organizations of Copyright Law Revision and the Authors League of America, Inc., and the Association of American Publishers, Inc., state that these guidelines were "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 [above] may nonetheless be permitted under the criterion of fair use."