This page will assist with questions regarding the following:
- For face-to-face instruction: using books, articles, videos, web pages, or other copyrighted works.
Copyright law places a high value on educational uses. The Classroom Use Exemption (17 U.S.C. §110(1)) only applies in very limited situations, but where it does apply, it gives some pretty clear rights. In-class viewing of a copyright work, whether it's an article, book chapter, or video, is considered a public performance that is permitted under the Classroom Use Exemption
To qualify for this exemption:
- You must be in a classroom ("or similar place devoted to instruction");
- Be there in person, engaged in face-to-face teaching activities;
- Be at a nonprofit educational institution.
Sounds a little restrictive? If (and only if!) you meet these conditions, the exemption gives both instructors and students broad rights to perform or display any works.
The Classroom Exemption can be used for the following:
- Instructors can play movies and music for their students, at any length, from legitimate copies;
- Instructors can show students images or original artworks;
- Students can perform arias, read poems, and act out scenes.
- Students and instructors can do all these things without seeking permission, giving payment, or having to deal with the complications of fair use.
Where does 110(1) not apply?
- Outside a nonprofit, in-person, classroom teaching environment;
- Online teaching settings (via a learning management system, course-related activities that are online, or course websites);
- Interactions that are not in-person, even synchronous, simultaneous distance learning interactions;
- At for-profit educational institutions.
The Classroom Use Exemption also only authorizes in-person performance or display. If you are making or distributing copies (i.e., handing out readings in class), this exemption does not apply.
Disclaimer: The FAU Libraries and its faculty, staff, and administration are not attorneys and cannot interpret the law. This information is provided for educational purposes only and does not substitute for advice from legal counsel.
Source: University of Minnesota Libraries (2020). Exceptions and limitations: Classroom use, fair use, and more. https://www.lib.umn.edu/services/copyright/basics#exceptions. Permission to reuse by CC-BY-NC.