Arkansas Tech University Educational Fair Use Guidelines for Digital Images

Arkansas Tech University promotes the educational and research use of copyrighted materials (Basic Copyright Law) through the appropriate application of the provisions provided in copyright law for fair use (Fair Use) and for specific exemptions granted for educational and research purposes (Exemptions). At this time, exemptions include the Teaching Exemption, the provisions for distance education covered by the Technology, Education, and Copyright Harmonization Act (TEACH Act), and special Library Exemptions. Arkansas Tech University observes best practices and guidelines commonly accepted within the academic community (Guidelines).

Copyright law and guidelines

Basic Copyright Law: 17 U.S. Code 102 Copyright from the code

Fair Use: 17 U.S. Code Section 107

Exemptions:Teaching Exemption - 17 U.S. Code 110(1)Library Exemptions (17 U.S. Code 108)

Guidelines:Educational Fair Use Guidelines for Digital Images for Classroom Copying of Books and Periodicals

Basic Copyright Law - 17 U.S. Code 102

  • Copyright protects an original work of authorship which owes originality to the author and that is fixed in tangible medium of expression. Copyright protection begins immediately.
  • Copyright protects the authors right to obtain commercial benefit from a valuable work and protects the authors general right to control how a work is used.
  • Title 17 U.S. Code 102 states that the copyright covers the following materials:
    • Literary works
    • Musical works
    • Dramatic works, including music
    • Motion pictures and audiovisual works
    • Pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works
    • Sound recordings
    • Architectural works, pantomimes and choreographic works

However, the following are not protected by copyright

    • Ideas
    • Procedures, Processes, Systems, Method of Operation
    • Concepts or Principles
    • Discoveries
    • Facts
    • Works that lack originality
    • Works in the Public Domain (copyright free) (17 U.S. Code 105)
      • Works of the U.S. Government and some state governments
      • Materials for which the copyright has expired (usually at least 70 years)
  • Five exclusive rights reserved for the author (17 U.S. Code 106)
    • Reproduction - copy, duplicate, transcribe
    • Derivatives - make modifications to create a new work
    • Distribution - sale, lease, lend, rent
    • Public performance - plays, recitations, motion pictures,
    • Public display
  • 17 U.S. Code 106 110 define specific exemptions to the authors exclusive rights

Fair Use - 17 U.S. Code Section 107

Fair use is the broadest, most commonly used exemption outlined in Copyright Law. It is available to all faculty, students, and staff for education, scholarship, and research use.

  • Fair Use General Principles
    • The concept of fair use allows the use of copyrighted materials, such as text, graphics, illustrations, photos, and videos in face-to-face teaching, materials assigned to students for directed self-study or review, and sharing of materials for research and scholarship.
    • Lack of copyright notice does not mean that the materials are NOT copyrighted! Almost everything is copyrighted with the exception of public domain, government works, materials at least 70 years old, and materials made available free of restriction by the originator or copyright owner.
    • Fair use does not preempt license agreements. This is especially important for CD-ROMs, Websites, electronic Library materials, and image collections that are licensed.
  • Fair Use Factors Each fair use question must be considered in context with consideration given to all four key factors. The relative importance of the factors varies with the circumstances, but all are important. The four factors are:
    • Purpose and character of use (must be for nonprofit educational, scholarship, or research use);
    • Nature of copyrighted work (factual works are more likely to be considered fair use than creative works);
    • Amount and substantiality of portion used in relation to whole (only small portions may be used which do not represent the core of the work);
    • Effect on potential market for or value of the copyrighted work (ask: if use was widespread, would copyright owner lose money?).
  • Limitations on Fair Use Fair use is more likely if following principles are observed:
    • Restrict to nonprofit educational and research use, peer conferences, and student presentations;
    • Restrict access to enrolled students only;
    • Limit the portion of copyrighted materials used (one article from a journal, a chapter of a book, a small portion of the images in a text, etc.);
    • Limit the time period of use (a semester or a year the length of the course);
    • Include a notice such as This CD-ROM may include copyrighted materials provided for the personal educational use of enrolled students and may not be further redistributed;
    • Attribute the work to the copyright holder for every copyrighted item used (copyright notice: copyright symbol , year of publication, name of copyright holder) whenever possible;
    • Prohibit copying of software, except for shareware, freeware and public domain software;
    • Limit copying of articles or chapters for research or scholarship to those made at the discretion of the individual rather than systematically providing copies as a means for avoiding purchase of multiple copies of a journal or book.


Teaching Exemption - 17 U.S.Code 110(1) The Teaching Exemption permits performance or display of any copyrighted work in face-to-face teaching activities in a classroom or similar placed devoted to instruction. The performance or display must be from a legal copy of the work. Additionally,

  • A teacher may make one copy of copyrighted materials for preparation for class.
  • Multiple copies (not to exceed more than one copy per student in the course) may be made for classroom use or discussion, providing:
    • Copying is at the instance and inspiration of the individual teacher;
    • Copying is not used to create an anthology or to act as a replacement for a textbook;
    • Copying is not of consumables such as workbooks, exercises, and tests
    • No charge to students beyond actual cost of reproduction;
    • Copying of the same item is not repeated by the same teacher from term to term;
    • Appropriate citation and attribution to source given;
    • Each copy of copyrighted materials has a notice of copyright.

Library Exemptions (17 U.S. Code 108) The Arkansas Tech Library monitors and complies with the use of library exemptions:

  • Archiving
  • Copies for patrons
  • Interlibrary loans
  • Right of First Sale