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Spokane Academic Library

Supporting the academic programs of Washington State University and Eastern Washington University in Spokane.

Copyright and Fair Use Guidelines

Include a copyright notice on all copies.

“Notice: This material may be protected by copyright law (Title 17 U.S. Code).”

Library staff will obtain necessary copyright permission for reserve items.

Single copies may be made to support an instructor’s research and teaching efforts, following these guidelines:

  • A chapter from a book
  • An article from a periodical or a newspaper
  • A short story, short essay, or short poem, whether or not from a collective work (see below, brevity)
  • A chart, diagram, graph, drawing, cartoon, or picture from a book, periodical, or newspaper

Multiple copies (one copy per student in the course) may be made for classroom use where the following conditions exist:  We prefer to use electronic copies if possible.


  • A complete poem of less than 250 words and printed on not more than two pages.
  • Only 250 words of longer poems may be copied.
  • A complete article, story, or essay of less than 2,500 words.
  • Longer works: Only 1,000 words or 10% of the entire work, whichever is less.


If there is not a reasonable length of time to request and receive permission.

Cumulative effect

Material to be used for only one course, for one semester.

Reserve copying can be done by following the single copy guidelines, with the exception that multiple copies may be placed on reserve if this is reasonable in light of the number of students enrolled in the course (one copy to 30 students). We prefer to use electronic copies if possible.

We must seek permission if:

  • Copy repeated over successive courses or years
  • Copy for profit
  • Copying for non-educational purposes
  • Consumable work (standardized texts, workbooks, exercises)
  • Anthologies created as basic text for a course

An important determinant in whether copying constitutes fair use is the impact certain copying has on the marketplace.

Check with library for other details at 509.358.7930 or

Washington State University copyright web page

American Library Association copyright education program