Copyright Infringement

Ten Tips Teachers Should Know

1. Teachers should read the copyright law. To avoid copyright infringement, teachers need to know the law and understand how it affects materials used within their particular classroom environment (The Reporters Committee, n.d.).

2. A teacher should know the procedures for obtaining an author’s permission (The Reporters Committee, n.d.).

3. Teachers should paraphrase the author’s words (The Reporters Committee, n.d.).

4. When instructing, teachers should never use extensive parts of an individual explanation literally (The Reporters Committee, n.d.).

5. Teachers should understand what is considered permitted fair uses. Some examples of fair uses include news reporting, commentary, critiques, research, and pedagogy (The Reporters Committee, n.d.).

6. Teachers should know the four factors for fair use include:

  • aim and nature of application,
  • type of copyrighted work,
  • quantity of copyrighted materials used in entirety, and
  • how the use of copyrighted work by an individual will affect the works market value (The Reporters Committee, n.d.).

7. Teachers should use hyperlinks. Teachers could avoid copyright infringement by using hyperlinks to connect students to works online (The Reporters Committee, n.d.).

8. When passing out materials to students from a periodical or newspaper, teachers should only make one copy (Stanford University Libraries, 2015).

9. Teachers should not use handouts of articles in place of textbooks or workbooks (Stanford University Libraries, 2015).

10. Teachers should include a notice of copyright on each copy (Stanford University Libraries, 2015).


Stanford University Libraries. (2015). Copyright and fair use: Educational uses of non-course pack materials. Retrieved from

The Reporters Committee. (n.d.). The First Amendment Handbook: Copyright. Retrieved from