17 U.S.C. §107: Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use
Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 [and 106A,] the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include —
The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.
PLEASE NOTE: There is no law that specifies the amount of a work that may be copied. "Official" amounts are a matter of institutional policy/practice only!!
The Congress shall have power...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....
Unites States Constitution, Article 1, Section 8
For an excellent overview of copyright issues see Marianne Aldrich's Copyright Guide.
This page is intended to provide you with information on copyright law as it applies to educational use.
These Sections provide Exceptions to exclusive rights in copyrighted works:
Educators will find Sections 110(1)-(Face-to-Face Teaching) and 110(2) (Distance education-Teach Act) particularly informative.
Decision-making surrounding copyright issues involves an acceptance of ambiguity. Copyright legislation often seems purposely vague (flexible?); in fact this attribute probably enhances users' rights (these comment are merely my opinion).
Copyright for Music Librarians. Much useful information regarding music works.
Published Statements and Guidelines. From the above site, useful guidelines on the intersection of music/media access and copyright law.
Fair Use Checklist. From Columbia University's excellent Copyright Advisory pages. Use these!
Section 108 Spinner. Of use in determining permission for replacement, reproduction of old, but valued, resources.
Getting Permission/Copyright Crash Course Resources for gaining permission to use copyrighted works. Information provided by University of Texas
Since libraries have been thrust into the center of the copyright climate, you will find many other great resources on other library sites.
Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States - Peter Hirtle's charts illuminate this complex situation.
When Is 1923 Going to Arrive and Other Complications of the U.S. Public Domain-Hirtle further illustrates public domain tangles.