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Fair Use, Brevity, Spontaneity, and Cumulative Effect

Fair Use

Copyrighted material to be reproduced under this paragraph shall be deemed reasonable as to amount and substantiality if it does not exceed the following guidelines:
(a) a chapter from a book; or
(b) an article from a periodical or newspaper; or
(c) a short story, short essay or short poem, whether or not from a collective work; or
(d) a chart, graph, diagram, drawing, cartoon or picture from a book, periodical, or newspaper.


The copying meets the tests of brevity described in the following guidelines:
(a) With respect to poetry, "brevity" is deemed to mean a complete poem if less than 250 words and if printed on not more than two pages or, if from a longer poem, an excerpt of not more than 250 words.
(b) With respect to prose, "brevity" is deemed to mean either a complete article, story or essay of less than 2,500 words, or 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. These limits are not violated by the completion of an unfinished line of a poem or of an unfinished prose paragraph.
(c) With respect to illustrations, "brevity" is deemed to mean one chart, graph, diagram, drawing, cartoon or picture per book or per periodical issue.
(d) With respect to "special" works (i.e., certain works that combine language with illustrations, sometimes intended for children, and that fall short of 2,500 words in their entirety), "brevity" is deemed to mean an excerpt comprising not more than 10% of the words found in the text itself.


The copying meets the tests of spontaneity as described in the following guidelines:
(a) The copying is at the instance and inspiration of the individual who orders or makes the reproductions or phonorecords to be prepared and distributed.
(b) 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 from the owner of the copyright.

Cumulative Effect

The copying meets the cumulative effect tests described in the following guidelines:
(a) The copied material will be used in only one course offered in the college in which the instructor making the copies holds an academic appointment.
(b) Not more than one short poem, article, story, essay or two excerpts may be copied from works by the same author, nor more than three from the same collective work or periodical volume, during the same quarter or semester.
(c) Not more than nine instances of such multiple copying shall be made for any one course during the same quarter or
(d) The limitations stated in (b) and (c) do not apply to current news periodicals and newspapers and current news sections of other periodicals.         


Updated December 31, 2008 . Please send comments to Misty Allen.
Weber State University, Stewart Library. Copyright © 2016 All Rights Reserved.

Stewart Library - Weber State University - Ogden, Utah 84408. (801) 626-6403 - Copyright © 2008 ALL Rights Reserved