Guidelines for instructors

The copyright statute includes a specific exception for performing or displaying (but not copying) copyrighted works in face-to-face instruction. Other uses may be covered by fair use, but there are limits to how much of a work you can use and still fall under fair use. You can learn more about fair use and copyright in instruction with our interactive tutorial. Also see the Copyright Implications: Shifting Your Course Online section of our copyright guide.

You will also need to limit access to materials to only enrolled students when sharing online (e.g. D2L Brightspace course site, password-protected website). For uses that don't fall under the specific exception or fair use, you should get permission from the copyright owner.

Book selections

Fair use guidelines are flexible. Using one or two book chapters or less than 10-20% of a book can be used as a general rule of thumb in gauging the fairness of a use in an educational context. However, instructors must conduct their own fair use evaluations when making digitized copies of our print collections available to their students. Request a book chapter.


The number of journal, magazine, and newspaper articles that may be copied for each course should be reasonable in relation to the learning objective and total amount of material assigned for one term of a course. Take into account the nature of the course, its subject matter, and level. Request an article.


Materials such as case studies, commercial workbooks, exercise sheets, standardized test booklets that are intended primarily for classroom use should not be copied or made available for copying without permission of the copyright owner.

Audio and video selections

Audio and video from lawfully acquired sources may be made available for streaming to reduce the likelihood of further copying and saving of individual files. See our video streaming service.


Images may be displayed in a course site. Include a notice that the digital images should not be downloaded, shared, or otherwise used beyond the permitted educational uses.

If you are displaying an image outside of a course site on the open web, get permission from the copyright owner. Copyright owners may have their own website and provide contact information or usage guidelines. If you can’t find either of these and can’t get permission, you should avoid using the image.

Resources such as Google Images and Bing Images allow you to filter results by license type or usage rights. With Google Advanced Image Search, you can limit the search by usage rights. "Free to use, share or modify, even commercially" will find the most lenient licenses. See best practices for image use.

Class Notes

Do not copy Class Notes packets prepared by the UA Fast Copy service or other commercial vendors.

Copyright notice

Provide the appropriate copyright information for each reading or other work copied for your classes. If the correct copyright owner is unknown, use a general statement that the work is protected by copyright.

Contact us

If you have questions, contact our copyright librarian, Ellen Dubinsky.