Classroom Copying

The Guidelines on Classroom Reproduction can be found on the Library of Congress website (page 8 of the circular).

These guidelines are perhaps the most important because they cover the use of traditional educational materials, such as articles and book excerpts, which are most often used in the classroom. They also apply to the use of reserve materials. The guidelines, which you should read, emphasize three general principles that are summarized below.

Brevity means your copies should not constitute a substantial portion of the total work. Acceptable examples of brevity include:

  • a chapter from a book.
  • an essay, poem, or story from a collected work.
  • an article, essay, poem, or story from a periodical or newspaper.
  • a cartoon, chart, diagram, drawing, graph, or picture from a book, newspaper, or periodical.
  • excerpts of sheet music if they do not constitute a performable unit and do not exceed 10% of the work.

Cumulative effect means copies should not have a detrimental effect on the market. You should avoid, for example:

  • copying an item for more than one course in the college.
  • copying more than one work from the same author.
  • making more than three copies from the same collective work or periodical volume during one class term.

Spontaneity means you lack adequate time between the decision to use a work and the time needed to gain permission for its scheduled use. Reusing material cannot be considered spontaneous.

In addition to these three general principles, the Guidelines also provide that:

  • students should be charged no more than the cost of copying the article.
  • a faculty member should not copy the same item for more than one term.
  • consumable works, such as workbooks, test sheets or exercises, should not be copied.
  • copying should not be used to create or replace anthologies or compilations.