Copyright Questions

Just what exactly is "fair use"?
I'm making copies to distribute to my class, do I need permission?
I'm copying less than ten percent of the book, why do I need permission?
Why do I need permission when I wrote the book?
The book is out-of-print, Is permission needed?
I used this material last semester with permission. Do I need permission again this semester?
Do I need permission if there's no copyright notice on the material?
Classes start next week. If it takes longer than a week to clear permission, does that mean
my readers will have to wait that long?

If we think we will get permission to copy, do we have to wait for the publisher's
response before we start?

Why do we have to apply for permission so far ahead of time?
Can we copy without permission if we can't identify the copyright owner?

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Just what exactly is "fair use"?
a
The Doctrine of "Fair Use" under the U.S. copyright law permits, in limited situations, the use of portions of a copyrighted work without the copyright owner's permission. Four basic factors must be examined in determining whether a use is a "fair use": the purpose and character of the use; the nature of the copyrighted work; the amount and substantiality of the portion of the work as a whole; and the effect of the use in question upon the potential market value of the copyrighted work. NO one factor is determinative of a person's right to use a copyrighted work without permission. However, certain "guidelines" have been recognized that indicate uses thought to be "fair", these are available from AAP and the United States Copyright Office.

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q
I'm making copies to distribute to my class, do I need permission?
a

Educational use alone is insufficient to make a use in question a fair one. The copying will fall within a certain "fair use guidelines" if it meets agreed standards of spontaneity, brevity and cumulative effect. A good example of legal copying could be if a professor read an article in the morning newspaper, and wanted to distribute it in class that afternoon. However, any reuse of the article in a subsequent semester without first receiving permission would not be covered by the guidelines. Of course, chapter length or other substantial excerpts from copyrighted books will generally require permission before copying.

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q
I'm copying less than ten percent of the book, why do I need permission?
a

Educational use alone is insufficient to make a use in question a fair one. The copying will fall within a certain "fair use guidelines" if it meets agreed standards of spontaneity, brevity and cumulative effect. A good example of legal copying could be if a professor read an article in the morning newspaper, and wanted to distribute it in class that afternoon. However, any reuse of the article in a subsequent semester without first receiving permission would not be covered by the guidelines. Of course, chapter length or other substantial excerpts from copyrighted books will generally require permission before copying.

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q
Why do I need permission when I wrote the book?
a

The author of the book is not necessarily the owner of the copyright. If the publisher, by contract, holds the particular rights for reporduction, then-- for uses that are not "fair"-- the author should contact the publisher.

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q
The book is out-of-print, is permission needed?
a

Just because the book is out-of-print does not mean that the work is no longer protected by copyright. It is best to contact the publisher's copyright permission department to determine whether the work is still under copyright or in the public domain.

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I used this material last semester with permission. Do I need permission again this semester?
a

Generally, yes. However, you should check to see if the publisher restricted or permitted, or put conditions on, reuse.

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Do I need permission if there's no copyright notice on the material?
a

The absence of a copyright notice does not mean that the work in question is not protected. Copyright protection begins at creation for "original works of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression". The best method for determining copyright ownership is by contacting the publisher of the work that you wish to copy.

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q
Classes start next week. If it takes longer than a week to clear permission, does that mean my readers will have to wait that long?
a

Yes. If a bookstore, copyshop or professor sells or distributes copyrighted materials that have been improperly copied, they can be subject to a lawsuit, found liable for copyright infringement and subjected to all penalties and remedies for the infrigement. IF faculty request course materials at the same time they place their book orders, permission should easily be cleared in time for the start of classes. However, this is dependent upon the particular publisher's permissions process as well as the timing of the faculty request.

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If we think we will get permission to copy, do we have to wait for the publisher's response before we start?
a

The absence of a response does not qualify one to copy. You should not begin copying the material before receiving permission.

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q
Why do we have to apply for permission so far ahead of time?
a

The earlier your request is received, the better. It permits the publisher to review its author's contract and complete its processing, and in case permission cannot be granted it provides time for you to substitute other materials. Publishers do not always control the rights and need time to check the extent to which permission may be granted, the status of the copyright, the materials to be duplicated and assignment of author's royalties, if fees are involved. The use of on-line services such as those provided by the Copyright Clearance Center (CCC) is making the clearance process easier.

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Can we copy without permission if we can't identify the copyright owner?
a

There is no automatic exemption for making unauthorized copies of a copyrighted work. If there is no page showing who owns the copyright, year of publication and publishers name, you may obtain such information from numerous sources available in most libraries such as Books In Print and many college stores, or by contacting the Copyright Clearance Center's home page at http://www.copyright.com

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I need this item in my course pack, but I don't remember where I got it from. Can I use it anyway?
a

It is likely to be protected by copyright. You should seek to determine the source and not use it without permission.

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