Use of Copyrighted Material

Adopted: 5-13-81
Revised:  5-11-05


The Board is committed to the observance of federal and state copyright laws and publisher licensing agreements. It delegates responsibility for enforcing this policy to the District and school administrations. The Board is equally committed to quality and appropriate materials being used in teaching situations.


1.  Fair Use:    1. Fair Use: an exception to the exclusive rights enjoyed by copyright owners is the doctrine of “fair use.” The “fair use” of a copyrighted work for purposes of teaching, scholarship, or research is not an infringement of copyright. The following factors shall be considered in determining “fair use”:

       A. The purpose and character of the use, including whether the use is of a commercial nature or for non-profit educational purposes.

B.  The nature of the copyrighted work.

C.  The amount and importance of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work.

D.  The effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.z
     Note: A further exception shall be performance or display of a work by instructors or students in the course of face-to-face teaching activities in a classroom or other similar place
     devoted to instruction.

2.  Brevity:

A.      A.  Poetry: A complete poem if less than 250 words and if printed on not more than two pages or from a longer poem of not more than 250 words.

B.      B.  Prose: Either a complete article, story, or essay of less than 2,500 words, or an excerpt from any prose work of not more than 1,000 words or 10% of the work, which is less, but in      
      any event a minimum of 500 words.
  C.  Illustration: One chart, graph, diagram, drawing, cartoon, or picture per book or per periodical issue.

   D.  Special Works: Certain works in poetry, prose, or in “poetic prose” which often combines language with illustrations and which are intended sometimes for children and at other times for a more general audience fall short of 2,500 words in their entirety.

3.  Spontaneity:

A.  The copying is at the instance and inspiration of the individual teacher, and
B. The inspiration and decision to use the work and the moment of its use for maximum teaching effectiveness are so close in time that it would be unreasonable to expect a timely reply to a request for permission.

4.  Cumulative Effect:

A.  The copying of the material is for only one course in the school in which the copies are made

B.  Not more than one short poem, article, story, essay, or two excerpts may be copied from the same author, nor more than three from the same collective work or periodical volume during one class term.


Employees of the District shall comply with the provisions of the United States Copyright Law. Subject to certain specific exceptions, as stated below, the owner of a copyright has the exclusive rights to reproduce, distribute, perform, or display the copyrighted work, or to authorize such reproduction, distribution, performance or display by others. Employees who wish to use copyrighted print material and sheet music shall follow the guidelines as set forth in this Policy. Any use that falls within the “fair use” guidelines may be judged using the four items listed above and may be challenged in an appropriate court of law.

Guidelines for Single Copying for Teachers:

A single copy may be made of any of the following by or for a teacher at his or her individual request for his or her scholarly research or use in teaching or preparation to teach a class:

1.   A chapter of a book;

2.   An article from a periodical;

3.   A short story, short essay, or short poem, whether or not from a collective work;

4.   A chart, graph, diagram, drawing, cartoon, or picture from a book, periodical, or newspaper.

Guidelines for Multiple Copying for Classroom Use:

Multiple copies (not to exceed more than one copy per student in a course) may be made by or for the teacher giving the course for classroom use discussion, provided that:

1.   The copying meets the tests of “brevity” and “spontaneity” as defined in this Policy.

2.   The copying meets the “cumulative effect” test as defined in this Policy.

3.   Each copy includes a notice of copyright.

4.   The limitations in multiple copying do not apply to newspapers, and current news periodicals.

Prohibitions on Copying:

Notwithstanding the “fair use” guidelines, the following are prohibited unless specifically allowed by the publisher::

1.   Copying of print materials and sheet music to create or replace or substitute for anthologies, compilations, or collective works. This prohibition against replacement or substitution applies whether copies of various works or excerpts are accumulate or reproduced and used separately.

2.   Copying of or from works intended to be “consumable” in the course of study or teaching. These works include workbooks, exercises, standardized tests, test booklets, answer sheets, and like consumable material.

3.   Copying shall not (a) substitute for the purchase of books, publishers’ reprints, or periodicals; (b) be directed by higher authority; or (c) be repeated with respect to the same item by the same teacher from term to term.

4.   No charge shall be made to the student beyond the actual cost of the photocopying.

Guidelines for Broadcast Programs:

Broadcast programs, including commercial and public television and radio, shall not be videotaped or tape recorded for reuse without permission, except within the following guidelines:

1.   Broadcast programs may be recorded off-air simultaneously with broadcast transmission (including simultaneous cable re-transmission) and retained by a District school for a period not to exceed the first 45 consecutive calendar days after the date of recording. At the end of the 45 day period, off-air recordings shall be erased or destroyed.

2.   Off-air recordings may be used once by individual teachers in the course of relevant teaching activities and repeated once only when instructional reinforcement is necessary within the 45-calendar-day retention period.

3.   Off-air recordings shall be made at the request of and used by individual teachers and shall not be regularly recorded in anticipation of requests. No broadcast program shall be recorded off-air more than once at the request of the same teacher, regardless of the number of times the program is broadcast.

4.   A limited number of copies may be reproduced from each off-air recording to meet the legitimate needs of the teachers under these guidelines.

5.   Off-air recordings need not be used in their entirety, but the recorded programs shall not be altered from their original content. Off-air recordings shall not be physically or electronically combined or merged to constitute teaching anthologies or compilations.

Guidelines for Audio-Visual Materials (Videos, DVD’s, and Taped Programs):

Parents should be assured that inappropriate materials will not be shown to their children during school or in conjunction with after-school functions. Teachers shall show only those materials which are appropriate to the age of the students being taught, and which are appropriate to the specific curricular and/or instructional activity, content and purpose. The ratings discussed in this Policy are ratings given by the MPAA (Motion

Picture Association of America). All videos, DVD’s, and taped programs must be used in according to “fair use” guidelines for direct instruction in the classroom and not for reward or entertainment. The audio-visual material shall be previewed by the teacher and/or school administration and be in compliance with the approved District curriculum, copyright laws and required fees.

1.   Elementary schools (K-5) shall only show “G” rated movies.

2.   Material rated “PG,” if deemed critical to the teaching situation, may be shown only after obtaining written parental permission to grades 7-12.

3.   Material rated “PG-13,” if deemed critical to the teaching situation, may be shown only after obtaining written parental permission to grades 9-12.

4.   Material rated “R” or “NC17” are deemed inappropriate for students and will not be shown in schools at anytime.

5.   Non-rated videos, DVD’s or taped programs must be previewed by the school administration and/or a teacher for applicability to core curriculum, content, and appropriateness for student use before such programs may be shown.

6.   If a parent and/or student choose not to view material, the teacher shall provide appropriate materials and assignments as an alternative.

7.   The following is prohibited:

A.  Using videos, DVD’s, or taped programs for public viewing, reward or entertainment without a public performance site license;

B.  Using videos, DVD’s, or taped programs for public viewing, reward or entertainment during regularly schedule class time; and

C.  Using videos, DVD’s, or taped programs that have not been previewed for applicability and appropriateness by the teacher and/or school administration.

Guidelines for of Computers and Software:

1.   Acceptable computer use is covered in the District’s “Access to Internet” policies. Students and employees are held accountable for violations that occur in these policies: ECA, ECB, ECBA, ECC, ECCA, and ECD.

2. It is permissible to copy textual and graphic information from CD-ROM periodicals, encyclopedias and other online databases if “fair use” guidelines are followed.

3.   It is prohibited to use illegally copied software in schools or offices.

4.   It is prohibited to use school equipment to copy software illegally.

Guidelines for Music and Theatre:

1.   1.  Audio programs used in the classroom must be legally acquired, directly tied to curriculum lessons or learning objectives, and age appropriate or have an appropriate or no rating.

      2. Copying of music must be done under the direct supervision of a teacher or staff member who is familiar with copying regulations.

      3.  Personnel may use emergency copying to replace purchased copies which for any reason are not available for an imminent performance provided purchased replacement copies shall be substituted in due course.

4.   4.  For academic purposes other than performance, single or multiple copies of excerpts of works may be made, provided that the excerpts do not comprise a part of a whole which would constitute a performable unit such as a selection, movement or aria, but in no case more than ten percent of the whole work. The number of copies shall not exceed one copy per student.

5.   It is illegal to reproduce musical works (i.e., sheet music, a record, a tape, or CD, etc.) or convert a work from one form to another (such as transferring a record to a tape or a tape to a CD) unless such rights have been acquired from the copyright holder.

6.   It is illegal to hold a public performance of copyrighted materials unless the school entity has legally rented and paid the royalties associated with the performance. An exception for not paying royalties would be for classroom performances as a face-to-face instructional process.

7.   Parents should be assured that their children shall not be exposed to inappropriate music and drama presentations during school or in conjunction with after-school functions.



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