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Copyright/Fair Use Online: Home/WLDC


This guide will inform you on copyright and issues pertaining to the use of copyrighted materials used in education.  It will not supply legal advice nor can it replace advise given by the General Counsel for the school.  If you cannot find the answer to your question here, please email Amy or Kelly with questions.


Fair Use

  1. Purpose of the Use
    • Materials should be used in class only for the purpose of serving the needs of specified educational programs.
  2. Nature of the Work
    • Only those portions of the work relevant to the educational objectives of the course should be used in the classroom.
    • The law of fair use applies more narrowly to highly creative works; accordingly, avoid substantial excerpts from novels, short stories, poetry, modern art images, and other such materials.
    • Teachers should not distribute copies of "consumable" materials such as test forms and workbook pages that are meant to be used and repurchased.
  3. Amount of the Work
    • Materials used in the classroom will generally be limited to brief works or brief excerpts from longer works. Examples: a single chapter from a book, an individual article from a journal, and individual news articles.
    • The amount of the work used should be related directly to the educational objectives of the class.
  4. Effect of the Use on the Market for the Original
    • The teacher should consider whether the copying harms the market or sale of the copyrighted material.
    • Materials used in the class should include a citation to the original source of publication and a form of a copyright notice.
    • Teachers should consider whether materials are reasonably available and affordable for students to purchase - whether as a book, course pack, or other format.

What is Protected Under Copyright?

Under the copyright act, section 102, the following is protected:

  • Literature (includes online and print)
  • Music and lyrics
  • Drama
  • Pantomime and dance
  • Pictures, graphics, sculpture
  • Films
  • Sound recordings
  • Architecture
  • Software

The copyright trademark is no longer required.