Copyright covers original artistic and literary works of authorship both published and unpublished and guarantees exclusive rights for a limited term to the creator. Copyright is loosely defined at the federal level, Title 17 of the U.S. Code (17 U.S.C.), and is based in Article I, Section 8, U.S. Constitution.
“...To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.”
The language of the law is vague and nuances are set by precedent determined in case law.
Fair use is determined by case law (case by case basis) and usually determined using four factors
By and large as a student you are protected from copyright infringement by fair use for school work for the following reasons:
Single copies of the following list are allowed for instructors for scholarly research or for and in preperation of instruction:
Multiple copies of text material for distribution to students must follow these guidelines:
All in-class video viewing must follow these guidelines. For online classes please see the TEACH Act.
For more information or to find the tests suggested above please visit Reproduction of Copyrighted Works by Educators and Librarians by the United States Copyright Office.
Items in the Public Domain are materials that are no longer protected by copyright or rights were never held for the item. No permissions are needed in order to use the item.
The Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization Act or TEACH Act protects instructors who want to use protected intellectual property for distance or online learning. Instructors must follow these guidelines for the use of any material to truly be covered by the TEACH Act: