URL: https://westernu.libguides.com/copyright

Copyright and Fair Use: In the Classroom


Copyright Clearance Center

Copyright Clearance Center - The Pumerantz Library will collaborate with faculty on obtaining copyright permissions for articles or book chapters that may require multiple copies for use in the classroom. For more information, contact the Scholarly Communications Librarian at (909) 469-8697.

Can I distribute copies of a journal article or book chapter to my students?

In print:

  • You can distribute a single print copy of a journal article or a book chapter to each student in a face-to-face class environment for one semester. Subsequent copying for another class or another semester requires permission from the copyright holder.

Electronic Access, including Canvas or Elentra:

  • You can post a digitized copy of a single journal article or a single book chapter on a secure website such as Blackboard for one semester or a single course. Access to the article must be limited to students enrolled in the course. Subsequent copying for another course or another semester requires permission from the copyright holder. 
  • If the Library subscribes to the online journal or textbook, we encourage you to provide a persistent link instead of posting a PDF. This is a better way of making sure only authorized users access the article and it helps us track usage statistics. Click here for instructions on creating a proxy link or contact the Library's Reference and Outreach Department for assistance.
  • We discourage sending a PDF of journal articles to students via email. It is too easy for students to forward the article to unauthorized users, which violates our license agreement with the publisher of the journal.

Can I use images or figures in my PowerPoints?

When the presentation is given in a face-to-face classroom situation for a single semester, you do not need to obtain publisher permission to use a graphic or image. However, you may need to get permission if any of the following apply:

  • You are using multiple images from a single source
  • The image or graphic was found in a licensed resource such as an electronic library resource. Many of the Library's electronic resources allow faculty to use images; however, to determine if written permission is required, contact the Library's Reference and Outreach Department for assistance.
  • You are reusing the image or graphic for multiple semesters
  • You want to reuse the image in another publication

Make sure you cite the image appropriately. Please contact the Reference and Outreach department if you need help with this.

Can I use other forms of media in the classroom?

You may use these resources in a face to face situation as long as the media pertains to the subject and is relevant to the course.

For distance education the restrictions are strict and faculty must follow guidelines of the TEACH Act.

According to the Conference on Fair Use (CONFU), these are the guidelines for using media:

Motion Media

  • Up to 10% or 3 minutes, whichever is less, in the aggregate of a copyrighted motion media work may be reproduced or otherwise incorporated as part of a multimedia project.

Music, Lyrics, and Music Video

  • Up to 10%, but in no event more than 30 seconds, of the music and lyrics from an individual musical work (or in the aggregate of extracts from an individual work).  Any alterations to a musical work shall not change the basic melody of the fundamental character of the work.

Illustrations and Photographs

  • A photograph or illustration may be used in its entirety but no more than 5 images by an artist of photographer may be reproduced or otherwise incorporated as part of an educational multimedia project.  When using photographs and illustrations from a published collective work, not more than 10% or 15 images, whichever is less, may be reproduced or otherwise incorporated as part of an educational multimedia project.
  • You must review the license agreement for material to be included in a multimedia program, i.e. video, audio, text.  Fair Use of these materials is not a right, but a defense.

Putting Items on Reserve

The Pumerantz Library follows the guidelines of the Medical Library Association.

  1. Photocopies of articles or pages from books should have a notice of copyright on the first page of materials copied from each work.  Suggested verbiage:

    The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproduction of copyrighted material.  The photocopy or reproduction is not to be used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research.  These materials are made available for the educational purposes of students enrolled at Western University of Health Sciences.  No further reproduction, transmission, or electronic distribution of this material is permitted.
  2. A book chapter or journal article can be copied and placed on print reserve.  Multiple copies may be made to meet the needs of the class.  A good rule of thumb is to provide one copy for every ten students in the class.
  3. A book can be placed on print reserve and checked out to students allowing them to make their own print copies.
  4. The book placed on Reserve does not need to be owned by the Library.  A faculty member's copy is acceptable.
  5. Media may be placed on reserve with a notice that it may not be copied (unless the instructor owns the copyright).

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