Q. How do I know if I can use material for a course I'm teaching under fair use?


Check to see if your use satisfies the Teach Act conditions:

  • The material must be provided at the direction of or under the supervision of a faculty member and must be an integral part of the curriculum.
  • The amount of material provided must be comparable to that allowed under the fair use doctrine for live classroom session (e.g., short poems or essays, or photographic images). See the College's Copyright policy for Fair Use guidelines and examples of uses permitted.
  • Notice must be provided to students that the use of materials may be subject to copyright protection.
  • The materials available to students can only be available for a “limited duration” (no longer than a class session.

Note that the Teach Act does not apply to the conversion of print or other analog versions of works into digital formats unless no digital version of the work is available.

If you are uncertain after this review, consult the Copyright Clearance Center.

See also our FAQ on writing to a publisher for permission.


  • Last Updated May 20, 2020
  • Views 49
  • Answered By Ron Gilmour

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