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Mizzou Publishing - Course Packet FAQ

Copyright compliance is making sure that copyright law is adhered to and that necessary permissions have been secured.
Note: Verbal permission is not a legal means of compliance, a hard copy is required (i.e. a contract or a letter from the copyright owner(s).

Not necessarily. The “Fair Use” doctrine allows limited copying of materials for classroom use under the conditions of brevity, spontaneity, nature of the work, and the cumulative effect:

  • Brevity relates to the length of the work in question. For example, a professor may make copies of a complete poem if less than 250 words or an excerpt of a longer poem, not more than 250 words. A professor may copy an 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% or the work, whichever is less. A professor may make limited copies of one chart, graph, diagram, drawing, cartoon, or picture per book or per periodical issue.
  • Spontaneity means that the copying occurs at the instance and inspiration of the professor. The decision and inspiration to use the material occurs so close to the time the material is needed as a teaching tool that it becomes unreasonable to expect a timely permission response. An example of spontaneity is a case in which a professor reads an article from the Kansas City Star that would help illustrate a point to be made in his/her next lecture. Spontaneity does not occur when a professor decides three weeks in advance to copy an article from Fortune Magazine.
  • Nature of the work if the work is a dramatic or creative item it is less likely to be allowed; whereas a work that is factual in nature could be more likely used in favor of Fair Use.
  • The cumulative effect of copying involves several issues: the number of copies cannot exceed the number of students enrolled in the course; nor more than one short poem, article, story, essay, or two excerpts may be copied from the same author or more than three from the same collective work or periodical volume during one class term.

Specifically, there cannot be more than nine instances of multiple copying for one course during one class term.

Most published works contain a copyright notice, either on the title page or the acknowledgments page. If you have a photocopy of the work, you should go to the original source for the copyright citation. Note: the copyright citation may not accurately indicate the copyright owner. For example, many authors do not own the copyrights to their own works. A citation may indicate a particular publisher, but the rights may have reverted to a different publisher.  The best method for determining copyright ownership involves contacting the publisher of the material you wish to use. When in doubt, always seek permission.

Not necessarily. Most websites are copyrighted and you must get permission from them to distribute their content. However, there are those sites though that specifically state that content may be used for educational purposes; but for the most part you will need to get permission.
The average permission can be secured in 4 to 6 weeks, but that depends on the copyright owner. Some publishers can take up to 8 weeks to return a permission. Mizzou Publishing works with Copyright Clearance Center (CCC), an intermediary of sorts, in order to secure many permissions. Through CCC we can often receive permission within a week; however, this is not always the case, especially during peak times (the weeks right before and during a semester’s start.) The sooner that you can provide us the bibliographic information the better, it is easier for us to cancel a permission than it is to secure it – remember you can always make changes later.
Mizzou Publishing
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