Print Materials

Guidelines for Multiple Fair Use Copying of Copyrighted Materials

In accordance with Copyright law and the educational fair use exception, under Section 107 of H.R. 2223, the following guidelines must be observed:
Multiple copies, not to exceed one copy per student in a class, may be made, provided that:

  • Each copy includes a notice of copyright. Instructions on obtaining and including this notice can be obtained from the Library.
  • The decision to make hard copies and distribute them in class is spontaneous and obtaining timely permission would be unreasonable.
  • The copies are brief, defined as: a complete poem of less than 250 words and not more than two pages long, an excerpt of a poem not longer than 250 words, a complete story or article of less than 2500 words, or an excerpt of any prose work of not more than 1000 words or 10% of the work, whichever is less.
  • One chart, graph, diagram, drawing, cartoon or picture per book or periodical.
  • Excerpts of special works (that combine words and illustrations) of not more than 10% of the words in the text.
  • The material is for only one course.
  • Not more than one item can be copied from the same author, nor more than three from the same collective work or periodical volume during one semester.
  • No copying of worksheets.
  • Copying shall not substitute for the purchase of materials.
  • Copying of the same item by the same faculty member shall not be repeated from term to term.



Respect for intellectual labor and creativity is vital to academic discourse, and this principle applies to works of all authors and publishers in all media. It encompasses respect for the right to acknowledgment, the right to privacy, and the right to determine the form, manner, and terms of publication and distribution.

Because electronic information is volatile and easily reproduced, respect for the work and personal expression of others is especially critical in computer environments. Violations of authorial integrity, including plagiarism, invasion of privacy, unauthorized access, and trade secrets and copyright violations, may be grounds for sanctions against members of the academic community.

Students, faculty and staff should be aware that the unauthorized peer-to-peer sharing of copyrighted work files, including music, pictures, and movies, is illegal and may carry significant monetary and/or criminal sanctions. It is the responsibility of students and employees who are downloading or uploading documents to make certain they are not copyrighted works or that appropriate permission from the copyright holder has been obtained.

Further information about the Ethical and Legal Use of Software for Members of the Academic Community.

Personal Web Publishing

Sarah Lawrence faculty, staff, and students may publish web content on MySLC. Individuals are solely responsible for their sites' content and adherence to all policies stated in this document as well as all other College policies.

Under the terms of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the college is obligated to take appropriate action if it receives a complaint that copyrighted material is being published over our network without permission.

Any college action, however, does not prevent the copyright owner from taking further legal action against the individual concerned.

Further information about copyrights:

Motion Pictures

The Copyright Act of 1976, codified in Title 17, United States Code Sections 101-810, specifically prohibits the "public" showing or performing of copyrighted works without the permission of the copyright owner.

Performing or displaying a work is defined as "publicly" if it is "at a place open to the public or at any place where a substantial number of persons outside of a normal circle of a family and its social acquaintances is gathered."

Please note that a performance can be considered public regardless of whether audiences are charged, so the fact that there is no admission cost for weekend movies or film festivals does not exempt the college from the requirement to obtain permission of the copyright owner.

Exemptions to the Permission Requirement:

Performances which are not "public" under the above definition.

  • Performances in a classroom for purposes such as "criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship or research..."
  • Performances "by instructors or pupils in the course of face-to-face teaching activities of a nonprofit educational institution, in a classroom or similar place devoted to instruction...."
  • Performances that are "a regular part of the systematic instructional activities of a ... nonprofit educational institution;"
  • Performances that are "directly related and of assistance to the teaching content of the transmission," and "the transmission is made primarily for reception in classrooms or similar places normally to instruction."
  • Unless the performance falls into the very limited exceptions listed above, permission of the copyright owner, in the form of a license and fee, must be obtained prior to the performance. Sarah Lawrence College requires all individuals or groups who give performances of copyrighted works to comply with the Copyright Act of 1976.