Guidelines for UAMS Faculty, Staff, and Students Using Copyrighted Materials

Teaching in the Face-to-Face Classroom (Teaching Exemption)

Instructors may show (display or perform) any type of copyrighted materials in the face-to-face classroom repeatedly term after term without seeking permission from the copyright holder. Common examples would include showing videotapes, playing sound clips, displaying graphs and illustrations, and giving PowerPoint presentations that include copyrighted materials. An instructor may distribute materials to each student in the classroom following the fair use provisions.

Fair Use for Teaching Faculty and Students at UAMS

Fair use covers materials distributed in the classroom or assigned to students for directed self-study or review.

An instructor may provide one copy of a portion (e.g. a chapter of a book, an article from a journal, a small portion of images digitized from a book or journal) of copyrighted material to each enrolled student, if:

  • Copying and distribution of copyrighted material is not repeated by the same teacher from term to term;
  • Distribution of copyrighted materials is restricted to enrolled students only;
  • Each copy contains a notice of copyright attributing the work to the copyright holder (copyright symbol ©, year of publication, and name of copyright holder);
  • Copying is not meant to create an anthology for the class or substitute for the purchase of a textbook or a journal;
  • Copying is not of ‘consumables’ such as workbooks, exercises, tests;
  • Copying is at the instance and inspiration of the individual instructor;
  • The student is not charged beyond the actual cost of photocopying;
  • Students are notified that copyrighted materials may be included in their course materials, that these materials are provided for the students’ personal educational use, and that no further distribution of the materials is permitted.

Students may use copyrighted materials in their class presentations and assignments. Students may retain a copy of their own work including copyrighted material for inclusion in a personal portfolio to be displayed at a conference or for demonstrating their skills to prospective employers.

Distance Education and TEACH Act

The TEACH Act expands the Teaching Exemption (17 U.S. Code 110(2)) to include distance education. It does not extend to community service or continuing education activities.

  • The copyrighted materials performed or displayed in distance education courses must be part of activities that:
    • take place as an integral part of the class experience under supervision of the instructor;
    • are directly related and of material assistance to the teaching content, not ancillary or supplemental, such as supplemental readings.
  • Limitations:
    • limit amount of copyrighted materials displayed to the amount that would typically be displayed in the face-to-face classroom;
    • limit performances of audiovisual and dramatic works to portions of the work;
    • exclude digital works produced or marketed primarily as a part of mediated instructional activities;
    • limit performance or display to legally acquired materials.
  • Requirements:
    • limit to enrolled students only (as technologically feasible);
    • prohibit further distribution of copyrighted materials;
    • deny access to copyrighted materials after class session is over (may be archived if kept inaccessible to students);
    • prohibit interference with measures devised to prevent retention or dissemination;
    • provide notice informing students that course materials may be copyrighted.
  • Conversion of analog to digital format:
    • digitize only if material is not available in digital version, or if the already available digital version prevents its use as allowed by the TEACH Act.

Course Management Software (Blackboard) and E-Reserves

  • Uploading copyrighted materials into course management software or E-Reserves is comparable to providing multiple copies in the classroom;
  • Both WebCT and E-Reserves link to an area that allows viewing of copyrighted materials without allowing printing or downloading;
  • The same fair use limitations on portion (a chapter of a book, a journal article, etc.), time (one term), and other limitations of fair use apply;
  • The Library’s institutional license for a particular journal dictates whether uploading or linking to copyrighted material is appropriate. Call the Library for assistance.

Fair Use of Digital Images

Websites on the Internet are a rich resource for images and often educational websites indicate that images may be used for educational purposes. Faculty and students are advised to read and observe the copyright statements and to correspond with the copyright holder when appropriate. Correspondence granting permission should be retained.


  • If a digital image is already available online or for sale or license at a fair price, the instructor should point to it online, or purchase or license it. Pointing to an image on a Website (‘hyperlinking’) can be repeated term by term, but students should be directed to a webpage that indicates copyright holder.
  • a) Images may be downloaded from the Web for student materials following fair use limitations, or
    b) if no digital image is already available, the instructor may digitize the image from a legally acquired analog image, if:

    • Access is limited to students enrolled in class;
    • Permission is sought for repeated use;
    • Notice of copyright accompanies image;
    • If permission can not be obtained because the rights holder to the image is unknown, reasonable inquiry is made and keep records. If rights holder is not found, the image may be used for three years. Reconsideration of the four factors of fair use in each particular instance is required;
    • Copyrighted images may be displayed at peer conferences and in the classroom setting without limitation;
    • Copyrighted images may be downloaded, transmitted, and printed for personal use of students for one term;
    • Copyrighted images may be used by students in class assignments and personal portfolios.
  • Institutional Image Database
    • Permission must be sought to include images digitized for educational purposes in an institutional image database;
    • Educational institutions may digitize lawfully acquired analog collections of images and use them for educational purposes for one term. However, permission is required to allow retention and use of digital images for future educational purposes;
    • Attribution and copyright notices must be attached to images;
    • The nature of any alteration to an image should be noted.

Fair Use for Scholarship and Research

Fair use also covers the use of copyrighted materials for scholarship and research outside the formal educational offerings of the university.

  • Copying of articles and chapters for research or scholarship is permitted when copying is at the discretion of the individual rather than as a systematic means for a group to avoid purchasing multiple copies of a journal or book. Copyright notice is required for each copy.
  • Copyrighted materials may be shown or displayed at peer conferences.