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Copying or Displaying Recorded Works: Advice for Faculty

Disclaimer: Information on this guide is based on the studied opinions of CU librarians, but is not legal advice.


What Are the Exceptions
to Copyright for Teaching?

Two Options

    Option 1. U.S. Copyright Law 110.1, 2 (TEACH Act)

Option 2. U.S. Copyright Law 107 (Fair Use)      

       If Option 1 does not work, try Option 2         


Option 1: U.S. Copyright Law 110.1, 2 (TEACH Act)

To use this option, I must answer "yes" to all these questions:


1. Authorization:

  • Is my school non-profit and accredited by CHEA or U.S. Dept. of Ed.? __Yes ___No (CU is a non-profit, educational institution accredited by CHEA)

  • Does my school have a policy that promotes compliance to U.S. Copyright Law? __Yes ___No (The CU Faculty Handbook [section 4.11.2] contains a policy that promotes compliance to U.S. Copyright Law.)

  • Is the recorded work copied or displayed for my students under my direction as part of my job? ___Yes ___No


2. Intended Use:

  • Is the recorded work directly related to my teaching content and integrally part of my class session? ___Yes ___No

  • Do I intend to have my student use and retain the recorded work only for the specified course? ___Yes ___No

  • Are my students prevented from copying or using the recorded work for longer than is reasonably necessary for the course? ___Yes ___No


3. Content: 

  • Did I acquire the recorded work legally? ___Yes ___No

  • Is the recorded work non-damatic or non-musical? ___Yes ___No (Dramatic or musical works includes choreography, pantomimes, plays, motion picture, or scripts written for theater, radio, or television)

  • Is the recorded work other than what each student is required to purchase, such as textbooks, supplementary readings, or workbooks? ___Yes ___No

  • Online Instruction: Is the amount of the recorded work used comparable to what I use in a face-to-face classroom? ___Yes ___No


4. Audience:

  • Am I making a digital copy to display to my students only if a digital version is unavailable or inaccessible due to technological protection measures? ___Yes ___No

  • Is the recorded work only available to my students who are enrolled in the course? ___Yes ___No

  • Are my students notified that the recorded work that I display in the course may be subject to copyright protection? ___Yes ___No


Option 2: U.S. Copyright Law 107 (Fair Use)

Note: Fair Use allows me to copy or displaying any recorded work for criticism, comment, news, reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research. 


To use this option, I must find more points that favor Fair Use in each of the four sections than oppose it:


1. Purpose & character of use

                Favors Fair Use                                                                                                   Opposes Fair Use

    + Educational use                                                                                         - Commercial use
+ Nonprofit use                                                                                                 - Profiting/charging for use
+ Transformative use (serves new purpose)   - Entertainment use  
    + Personal use                                                                                                                                                 - Not giving attribution to
    + Restricted access                                                                                        author or creator                                                                                                

2. Nature of resource

                Favors Fair Use                                                                                                 Opposes Fair Use

    + Published resource                                                                            - Unpublished resource
+ Factual or non-fiction resource                                     - Creative or fiction resource
    + Resource in public domain                                             - Consumable resource (e.g.
    + Important to educational objectives            work-book)      
    + Important to educational objectives                    - Created for proposed use
                                                                     (e.g. case  studies)

3. Amount used

                Favors Fair Use                                                                                                 Opposes Fair Use

    + Small amount used                                                                             - Large portion used
+ Portion used is not center to entire                        - Portion used is central to   
               resource                                                                                                                entire resource
    + Amount used appropriate for educational purpose


4. Effect of use on sales

                Favors Fair Use                                                                                                 Opposes Fair Use

   + Uses lawfully acquired or purchased                     - Makes & uses copy of                
   + Used only once                                                                                       - Repeated or long term use
+ Few copies made or were users given                - Many copies made or many
               access                                                                                                                              users given access
   + Use has no significant effect on sale of             - Use could hinder or replace
      resource                                                                                                                       sale of copyrighted resource
   + Lack of licensing or permission                                      - Reasonably available
      mechanism                                               licensing mechanism exists
   + Copyright owner cannot be identified or         - Copyright owner easily  
               found                                                                                                                                identified and  available
    + Permission is very expensive                                             - Permission is affordable
                                                                                                                                                              - Made available on Internet
                                                                      or other public  forum


For further help: Common Copyright Scenarios

Also see: 10 Copyright Myths