Agreement on Guidelines for Classroom Copying in Not for Profit Educational Institutions with Respect to Books and Periodicals

Single Copies for Teachers

A single copy may be made of any of the following by or for a teacher at his or her individual request for his or her scholarly research or use in teaching or preparation to teach a class:

  • A chapter from a book;

  • An article from a periodical or newspaper;

  • A short story, short essay or short poem, whether or not from a collective work; or

  • A chart, graph, diagram, drawing, cartoon or picture from a book, periodical or

  • newspaper.

Multiple Copies for Classroom Use

Multiple copies (not to exceed in any event more than one copy per pupil in a course) may be made by or for the teacher giving the course for classroom use or discussion; provided that the copying meets the following tests of brevity, spontaneity, and cumulative effect. Each copy must also include prominent notice that it is copyrighted material.



Either (1) a complete article, story or essay of less than 2,500 words, or (2) an excerpt from any prose work of not more than 1,000 words or 10% of the work, whichever is less, but in any event a minimum of 500 words.


(1) A complete poem if less than 250 words and if printed on not more than two pages, or (2) an excerpt of not more than 250 words.


One chart, graph, diagram, drawing, cartoon or picture per book or periodical issue.

Special Works

Certain works in poetry or prose or in “poetic prose,” which may combine language with illustrations and which fall short of 2,500 words, may not be reproduced in their entirety. However, an excerpt comprising not more than two of the published pages of such a work, and containing not more than 10% of the words found in the text, may be reproduced.


The copying is at the instance and inspiration of the individual instructor, and the inspiration and decision to use the work and the moment of its use for maximum teaching effectiveness are so close in time that it would be unreasonable to expect a timely reply to a request for permission.

Cumulative Effect

The copying of the material is for only one course in the school in which copies are made. Not more than one short poem, article, story, essay or two excerpts may be copied from the same author, nor more than three from the same collective work or periodical volume during one class term. There shall not be more than nine instances of such multiple copying for one course during a term. The latter two limitations listed do not apply to current newspapers and news periodicals. Copying shall not be used to create or replace anthologies, compilations or collective works. There shall be no copying of works intended to be consumable, such as workbooks, test booklets, etc. No charge shall be made to the student beyond the actual cost of copying. Copying shall not substitute for the purchase of books, reprints or periodicals; be directed by a higher authority, or be repeated with respect to the same item by the same teacher from term to term.

In short, multiple copying for classroom use, such in the case of material for coursepacks, must at a minimum:

  1. Be limited to single chapters, single articles from a journal issue, several charts, graphs or illustrations.

  2. Include any copyright notice on the original and any appropriate citations and attributions to the source.

  3. Have permission obtained for materials that will be used repeatedly by the same instructor for the same class.