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Copyright and Fair Use: Copyright FAQs

Everything you need to know about copyright, fair use, and more. An important guide for students and instructors alike.

A Deeper Dive into Copyright

These questions and answers should not be construed as legal advice. These are general guidelines.

ArrowWhen teaching in a classroom, how can I use copyrighted materials?

ArrowExactly how much of a material can I use and have it be considered fair use?

ArrowHow do I obtain permission for copyrighted materials in the classroom when fair use is not an option?

What are the guidelines when creating course packs?

ArrowCan I use copyrighted materials on Canvas? What about a class website?

ArrowCan I use Canvas for reserves? Can students download articles I've put on Canvas?

ArrowCan I link to a website on Canvas or class website?

ArrowAre images I find on the Internet under copyright? Can I use them in my teaching?

ArrowCan I email articles to students?

ArrowHow can I use more freely accessible materials in my teaching?



American University Library. (2010). What faculty need to know about copyright for teaching. Retrieved from

Butler, R. P. (2014). Copyright for academic librarians and professionals. Chicago, IL: ALA Editions. This material can be found here.

Legal Information Institute. 17 U.S. Code § 110 - Limitations on exclusive rights: Exemption of certain performances and displays. Retrieved from

Common Scenarios

Click here link for a series of common scenarios that may help you in deciding whether your case is fair use or if you need to get permission before using your reading materials in the classroom.


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