This site is intended to provide general information and resources regarding current copyright practices. For specific questions or to secure permission to use materials for instructional purposes, please contact Melinda Weatherford , LCC Copyright Officer, at 360-442-2662.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is copyright?
- What does copyright protect?
- What is copyright infringement?
- How long does a copyright last?
- May I use someone elses work?
- How do I obtain copyright permission?
- What is Fair Use?
- What is the "Teach Act"?
- What Is an "Educational Use"?
- Where is the public domain?
- Copyright Basics
(A 12-page PDF document providing more detailed copyright information.)
- Copyright Basics
- Determine whether permission is needed to use an item.
- Identify who owns the protected material.
- Define the specific rights to be requested.
- Contact the owner.
- Due diligence: actions which must be taken if the copyright owner cannot be located
- Receive written permission.
- The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes.
- The nature of the copyrighted work.
- The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole.
- The effect of the use upon the potential market for, or value of, the copyrighted work.
- The use is non-profit.
- The material used is non-fiction and has been previously published.
- A minimal amount of the original was used, and does not include the heart of the work.
- Use of the work does not impact the market value of the original.
If all of the statements below are true, use may be considered within the guidelines of the Teach Act of 2001.
- The content is available to only currently enrolled students, and only for the duration of the course.
- Copyright laws have been made available to students, staff, and faculty.
- Copying and redistribution of the material is prevented.
- Copyright prevention mechanisms have not been tampered with.
- Noncommercial instruction or curriculum-based teaching by educators to students at nonprofit educational institutions.
- Planned noncommercial study or investigation directed toward making a contribution to a field of knowledge.
- Workshops, or seminars.
Rules for Reproducing Text Materials for Use in Class
- The guidelines permit a teacher to make one copy of any of the following: a chapter from a book; an article from a periodical or newspaper; a short story, short essay, or short poem; a chart, graph, diagram, drawing, cartoon, or picture from a book, periodical, or newspaper.
- Teachers may photocopy articles to hand out in class, but classroom copying cannot
be used to replace texts or workbooks. Pupils cannot be charged more than the actual
cost of photocopying. The number of copies cannot exceed more than one copy per pupil,
and a notice of copyright must be affixed to each copy.
- EXAMPLE: The materials on this course Web site are only for the use of students enrolled in this course for purposes associated with this course and may not be retained or further disseminated.
- General Rule: Copies and their actual classroom use must be so close together in time that it would be unreasonable to expect a timely reply to a permission request. For example, if an instructor finds a news article on capital punishment two days before presenting a lecture on the subject, it is permissible to use it: if the instructor wants to continue using the article during future terms however, copyright permission must be requested.
- Teachers may not photocopy workbooks, texts, standardized tests, or other materials that were created for educational use.
The guidelines were not intended to allow teachers to usurp the profits of educational publishers. In other words, educational publishers do not consider it a fair use if the copying provides replacements or substitutes for the purchase of books, reprints, periodicals, tests, workbooks, anthologies, compilations, or collective works.