The copyright law of the United States (Title 17 of the United States Code) gives to an author, composer, producer or programmer certain rights and privileges. It protects him from having his works published, recorded, exhibited, translated or reproduced except by permission. Development, distribution and fair compensation for new and original work is thus encouraged

These works include:

  • literary works
  • motion pictures and other audiovisual works
  • computer programs
  • dramatic works (including any accompanying music)
  • musical works (including any accompanying music)
  • pantomimes and choreographic works
  • pictorial, graphic and sculptural works
  • sound recordings
Under the “fair use” provision of the law (Section 107), educators must consider the following before copying any material:
  • why they copy (the purpose and character of the use)
  • what they copy (the nature of the copyrighted work)
  • amount they copy (relation of the part to the copyrighted work as a whole)
  • effect of their copy (upon its value)
The following guidelines are an attempt to summarize and interpret the copyright law as it affects educators. Future court decisions and legislative actions will change them.

Printed Materials Copyright Guidelines

You may as an educator:

1. Make a single copy of 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; for your own use or for use in teaching or preparing to teach a class.
2. Make multiple copies for classroom use or discussion, not to exceed in any event, more than one copy per pupil in a course. The copying must meet the tests of brevity, spontaneity, and cumulative effect as defined in the glossary. (See Appendix A). Each copy must include a notice of copyright.


1. Educators may not copy “consumable” materials such as workbooks, exercises, standardized tests, test booklets and answer sheets.
Educators may not copy materials to create, replace or substitute for anthologies, compilations or collective works.
3. Educators may not copy to substitute for the purchase of materials or repeatedly copy the same item from term to term.
4. Educators may not charge the student more than the actual cost of the photocopying for any item.

Video Tape Copyright Guidelines

You may as an educator:

1. Use your own camera to tape performances or lectures for use in the classroom as long as permission to film has been granted. These tapes may be retained indefinitely and may be copied as long as permission is given and no profits are gained.
2. Request that your librarian tape any special or regular newscast (i.e. inaugurations, disasters, international incidences). These may be copied (one archival copy only) and used indefinitely if your school library meets the requirements of Section 108 of the Copyright Law. (See Appendix B).
3. Request that your librarian tape any of the programs that have unlimited taping and use rights (i.e. National Geographic Specials and some educational TV programs).
Request that your librarian tape a program off the air on non-pay cable television. Showing of these tapes must follow the off-air recording guidelines and limitations. (See Appendix C).
5. Use for instructional purposes only, any tape purchased or rented from an educational distributor.
6. Use for instructional purposes only, a tape rented from a commercial video store and bearing the “For Home Use Only” warning if the educator has obtained a written release from the store, granting permission for educational viewing.
7. Use for instructional purposes only, any tape purchased by the school, the School Board or yourself even if it bears a warning “For Home Use Only.”


1. Educators may not use either a purchased or rented tape labeled “For Home Use Only” in other than planned, direct, instructional activities.
Educators may not use tapes for entertainment, fund-raisers, or time-fillers. Any use, other than instructional, must be negotiated at the time of purchase or rental, usually in the form of a licensing agreement.
3. Educators may not make an archival or backup copy of a copyrighted video tape.

Computer Software Copyright Guidelines

You may as an educator:

1. Make a single archival copy of the computer software. This is not to be used simultaneously with the original.
2. Obtain written permission and procedures for making back-up and multiple copies, other than a single archival back-up.
3. Obtain permission from the publisher to download or network programs to other microcomputers.


1. The school must obtain the written permission of the publisher to use the original software and its backup simultaneously.
2. The use of illegally duplicated software, however obtained, is prohibited in all St. Tammany Parish Board facilities, on all Board-owned equipment, and at all Board-sponsored functions.

Music Copyright Guidelines

You may as an educator:

  1. Make emergency copies 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.
  2. (a) For academic purposes other than performance, multiple copies of excerpts of works may be made, provided that the excerpts do not comprise a part of the whole which would constitute a performable unit such as a section, movement or aria, but in no case more than 10% of the whole work. The number of copies shall not exceed one copy per pupil.
(b) For academic purposes other than performance, a single copy of an entire performable unit (section, movement, aria, etc.) that is, (1) confirmed by the copyright proprietor to be out of print or (2) unavailable in a larger work, may be made by or for a teacher solely for the purpose of his or her scholarly research or in preparation to teach a class.
  3. Edit or simplify printed copies which have been purchased provided that the fundamental character of the work is not distorted or the lyrics, if any, altered or lyrics added if none exist.
  4. Make a single copy of recordings of performances by students for evaluation or rehearsal purposes and this copy may be retained by the educational institution or individual teacher.
  5. Make a single copy of a sound recording (such as a tape, disc or cassette) or copyrighted music from sound recordings owned by an educational institution or an individual teacher for the purpose of constructing aural exercises or examinations and this may be retained by this educational institution or individual teacher. (This pertains only to the copyright of the music itself and not to any copyright which may exist in the sound recording.)


1. You may not copy to create or replace or substitute for anthologies, compilations or collective works.
2. Educators may not copy or copy from works intended to be “consumable” in the course of study or teaching such as workbooks, exercises, standardized tests and answer sheets and like material.
3. You may not copy for the purpose of performance, except as in an emergency as stated in uses, #1, above.
4. You may not copy for the purpose of substituting for the purchase of music, except as stated in #’s 1 and 2 above.
5. Educators may not copy without inclusion of the copyright notice which appears on the printed copy.



Archival Copy

A back-up copy of a computer program. (A copy of the archival disk may be made if the original disk is damaged.)


For poetry: (a) a complete poem if less than 250 words and if printed on not more than two pages, or (b) from a longer poem, an excerpt of not more than 250 words.

For prose: (a) either a complete article, story or essay of less than 2,500 words, or (b) an excerpt from any prose work of not more than 1,000 words of 10% of the work, whichever is less, but in any event a minimum of 500 words.

(Each of these numerical limits may be expanded to permit the completion of an unfinished line of a poem or of an unfinished prose paragraph.)

For an illustration: one chart, graph, diagram, drawing, cartoon or picture per book or per periodical issue.

Cumulative Effect

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

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

Fair Use

Copyrighted material may be used for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research. To determine whether use made of a work is a case of fair use, the factors to be considered include the purpose and character of the use, the nature of the copyrighted work, the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the whole, and the effect of use upon the value of the material.

Home Use Only

Statement found on video tapes to designate use for single family viewing.

Public Performance

Performance of a work at a place open to the public or at any place where a substantial number of persons outside of a normal circle of a family and its social acquaintances is gathered.


The copying is at the instance and inspiration of the individual teacher.

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.


FROM: PUBLIC LAW 94-553-OCTOBER 19, 1976

Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 106, it is not an infringement of copyright for a library or archives, or any of its employees acting within the scope of their employment, to reproduce no more than one copy or phonorecord of a work, or to distribute such copy or phonorecord, under the conditions specified by this section if –

(1) the reproduction or distribution is made without any purpose of direct or indirect commercial advantage;
(2) the collections of the library or archives are (i) open to the public, or (ii) available not only to researchers affiliated with the library or archives or with the institution of which it is a part, but also to other persons doing research in a specialized field; and
(3) the reproduction or distribution of the work includes a notice of copyright.



1. The guidelines were developed to apply only to off-air recording by non-profit educational institutions.
2. A broadcast program may be recorded off-air simultaneously with broadcast transmission (including simultaneous cable transmission) and retained by a non-profit educational institution for a period not to exceed the first forty-five (45) consecutive calendar days after date of recording. Upon conclusion of such retention period, all off-air recordings must be erased or destroyed immediately. “Broadcast programs” are television programs transmitted by television stations for reception by the general public without charge.
3. 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, in classrooms and similar places devoted to instruction within a single building, cluster or campus, as well as in the homes of students receiving formalized home instruction, during the first ten (10) consecutive school days in the forty-five (45) calendar day retention period. “School days” are school session days – not counting weekends, holidays, vacations, examination periods, or other scheduled interruptions – within the forty-five (45) calendar day retention period.
4. Off-air recordings may be made at the request of and used by individual teachers, and may not be regularly recorded in anticipation of requests. No broadcast program may be recorded off-air more than once at the request of the same teacher, regardless of the number of times the program may be broadcast.
5. A limited number of copies may be reproduced from each off-air recording to meet the legitimate needs of teachers under these guidelines. Each such additional copy shall be subject to all provisions governing the original recording.
6. After the first ten (10) consecutive school days, off-air recordings may be used up to the end of the forty-five (45) calendar day retention period only for teacher evaluation purposes, i.e. to determine whether or not to include the broadcast program in the teaching curriculum, and may not be used in the recording institution for student exhibition or any other non-evaluation purpose without authorization.
7. Off-air recordings need not be used in their entirety, but the recorded programs may not be altered from their original, electronically combined or merged to constitute teaching anthologies or compilations.
8. All copies of off-air recordings must include the copyright notice on the broadcast program as recorded.
9. Educational institutions are expected to establish appropriate control procedures to maintain the integrity of these guidelines.

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Ref: USC 17, Sections 107, 110, 117
Board Minutes, 8-9-91