Copyright Policy
Carefully read our copyright policy and guidelines before requesting any services from RITS

Copyright Practices and Procedures
Independent School District #535
Rochester Public Schools
Rochester, Minnesota 55902

Fair Use
Overriding Prohibitions and Fair Use Provision Statement
Public Performances
Books and Periodicals
Audio Materials
Computer Software
Fair Use Guidelines for Educational Multimedia
Video Use Guidelines for the Classroom


Title 17, United States Code

The U.S. Copyright Law is designed to encourage the development of arts and sciences by protecting the work of creative individuals in our society--composers, authors, poets, dramatists, choreographers, and others--and allowing the artist to benefit financially.

Once a copyright is obtained, the individual becomes the copyright owner or proprietor and is entitled to monetary reward. At that point, the copyright proprietor acquires the exclusive rights to engage in and to authorize the following activities:

reproduction of copies of the work;
preparation of derivative works based on the copyrighted work;
distribution of copies of the work by sale, rental, lease or lending;
public performance of the work (if it is a literary, musical, dramatic, or choreographic work or a pantomime, motion picture, or audiovisual work);
public display of the work (if it is a literary, musical, dramatic, choreographic, sculptural, graphic, or pictorial work, including the individual images of a film or a pantomime).
Any violation of the copyright law is stealing from the creator of the work.


I. Fair Use

Fair use provisions of the copyright law grant particular types of users conditional rights to use or reproduce certain copyrighted materials as long as the reproduction or use of those materials meets defined guidelines. The defined guidelines for fair use are face-to-face instruction, integral to a unit of instruction, and not for reward or entertainment. As defined by law, fair use balances the free use of copyrighted materials by educators and the rights of the creator to sell their work and the expressions of their ideas.

In determining whether the use of materials in any particular case is a fair use, the factors to be considered shall include:

A. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;

B. the nature of the copyright work;

C. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and

D. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.


II. Overriding Prohibitions

Several general statements that universally apply to all curricular areas concerning copyright are:

A. Copying shall not be used to create, replace, or substitute anthologies, compilations, or collective works.

B. "Consumable" materials, such as workbooks, exercises, standardized tests or test booklets and answer sheets, may not be copied without express permission from the copyright holder.

C. Copying may not substitute for the purchase of books, computer software, publisher's reprints, audiovisual programs, or periodicals; may not be directed by higher authority or be repeated, as for a given item by the same teacher from term to term.

D. No charges may be made to the student beyond the actual cost of copying.


III. Public Performances

A public performance is any performance of a copyrighted work in a place "open to the public or at any place where a substantial number of persons are gathered." Schools and individual classrooms are considered a public place and, therefore, need a public performance license. The exception is when the performance meets all criteria for fair use.


IV. Books and Periodicals

A. Permissible Copying:

1. A teacher may make a single copy of the following for use in scholarly research in teaching or in preparation for teaching a class:

a. a chapter from a book.

b. an article from a periodical or newspaper.

c. a short story, short essay, or poem, whether from a book, periodical, or newspaper.

d. a chart, graph, diagram, drawing, cartoon, or picture from a book, periodical, or newspaper.

2. A teacher may make multiple copies for classroom use only, not to exceed one per student in a class, of the following:

a. a complete poem, if it is less than 250 words and printed on not more than two pages.

b. an excerpt from a longer poem, if it is less than 250 words.

c. a complete article, story, or essay, if it is less than 2,500 words.

d. an excerpt from a prose work, if it is less than 1,000 words or 10% of the work, whichever is less.

e. one chart, graph, diagram, drawing, cartoon, or picture.

f. material needed so soon it would not be feasible to write for and receive permission to duplicate from the copyright holder.

g. not more than one short poem, article, story, essay or two excerpts may be copied from the same author, nor more than three from the same collective work or periodical volume during one class term. There shall not be more than nine instances of such multiple copying for one course during one class term.

B. Prohibited Copying (unless copyright permission is received):

1. Creation of anthologies.

2. Copying which substitutes for purchase of books, periodicals, reprints, especially duplication of "consumable" materials such as workbooks, test booklets, standardized tests, answer sheets, and like material.


V. Audio Materials (printed and/or recorded music and narration)

A. Permissible Uses:

1. Emergency copying may be done to replace purchased copies of sheet music which are not available for an imminent performance provided replacement copies are purchased following the performance.

2. For academic purposes other than performance, single or multiple copies of excerpts which do not exceed 10% of the whole work may be used providing such excerpts do not provide a performable unit such as a section, movement, or area. The number of copies shall not exceed one copy per pupil.

3. Printed copies which have been purchased may be edited or simplified provided that the fundamental character of the work is not distorted or lyrics altered or added.

4. A single copy of recordings of performances by students may be made for evaluation or rehearsal purposes and may be retained by the educational institution or individual teacher.

5. A single copy of a sound recording (such as tape, disc, or cassette) of copyrighted music may be made from sound recordings owned by an educational institution or an individual teacher for the purpose of constructing aural exercises or examinations and may be retained by the educational institution or individual teacher. (This pertains only to the copyright of the music itself and not to any copyright which may exist in the sound recording.)

B. Prohibitions (unless copyright permission is received):

1. Copying to create, replace, or substitute for anthologies, compilations, or collective works.

2. Copying of or from works intended to be "consumable" in the course of study or teaching, such as workbooks, exercises, standardized tests, answer sheets, and like material.

3. Copying for the purpose of performance except as in V. A-1 above.

4. Copying for the purpose of substituting for the purchase of music and materials except as in V. A-1 and V. A-2 above.

5. Copying without inclusion of the copyright notice.

6. Charging students other than actual copy cost.

7. Changing music albums to different formats because of unavailability.


VI. Visuals (transparencies, slides, films, videos, electronic formats)

A. Permissible Uses:

Making a transparency from a single illustration in a book or enlarging a visual/map for teaching purposes.

B. Prohibitions (unless copyright permission is received):

1. Copying visuals of any form.

2. Changing format, e.g., film to videotape or cutting apart a filmstrip and changing it into slide format if the number of frames is small.

3. Creating a related (derivative) work from various sources of selected visuals.


VII. Videos (off-the-air recording)

A. Permissible Uses:

1. The District may record any program simultaneously with the broadcast (cable channels are not eligible for recording unless specific permission has been obtained) transmission and retain the tapes for a period of 10 school days followed by 35 calendar days after the date of recording. Upon conclusion of the retention period, all off-air recordings must be erased or destroyed.

2. Off-air recordings may be made only at the request of and used by individual teachers and may not be regularly recorded in anticipation of requests. No program may be recorded more than one time regardless of the number of times it is broadcast. No program may be requested for taping more than one time by the same teacher regardless of the number of times it is broadcast.

3. A limited number of copies may be reproduced from each recording to meet the legitimate needs of teachers under these procedures. Each such copy shall be subject to all provisions governing the original off-air recording.

4. Off-air recordings may be used once by individual teachers (in each of his or her classes) in the course of relevant teaching activities. It may be repeated only once if instructional reinforcement is necessary in the classrooms and similar places devoted to instruction within a single building, cluster, or campus, as well as in the homes of students with handicapping conditions that prevent them access to regular classes during the first 10 school days. During the retention period, staff may request the acquisition of the program.

5. After the first 10 consecutive school days, the only use that can be made of the recording is teacher evaluation. This evaluation is to be used to determine the likelihood of using programs in the series or in purchasing a copy of the program.

6. Off-air recordings need not be used in their entirety. The sequence of use must follow the order of the program, the recording may not be altered, and the entire program must be taped.

7. All copies of off-air recordings must include the copyright notice on the broadcast program as recorded.

8. A video program identified for "home use only" can be shown in the classroom if it is a legally made copy (personal, purchased, rented) or property of the School District.

9. Teachers may record off-air video programs at home and bring them into the school as long as all copyright guidelines are followed since the teacher is now operating under guidelines for education and not the guidelines for home videotaping. Please review items 1-8 as listed above.

B. Prohibitions (unless copyright permission is received):

1. Off-air programs cannot be kept for unlimited periods of time if they have been used in the classroom (see VII. A.1.). An off-air recording cannot be used after 10 school days unless it is for teacher evaluation for possible purchase.

2. Off-air recordings cannot be made without request by the individual teacher in writing.

3. The same program cannot be recorded more than once.

4. Duplicate copies cannot be made or dubbed to other formats unless they follow the guidelines.

5. Programs cannot be transmitted via CCTV unless licensed or unless permission is granted by the copyright holder.

6. The recording of a broadcast or specific parts of an off-air program cannot be altered.

7. The copyright notice of an off-air taped program cannot be left off.

8. Teachers who record off-air programs at home cannot retain them after they have used them for instruction.


VIII. Computer Software

A. The Rochester Public Schools Software Copyright Compliance Guidelines:

1. The Rochester Public Schools purchases or licenses the use of copies of computer software from a variety of publishers and distributors. The District does not own the copyright to this software or its related documentation and, unless authorized by the software developer, does not have the right to reproduce it for use on more than one computer.

2. The Rochester Public Schools is committed to providing employees, teachers, and students with information about intellectual property and copyright law information. Access to these guidelines will be made available to all District personnel along with training on copyright law, storage and security of software, and audit procedures for the District.

3. With regard to use on local area networks or on multiple machines, District employees shall use the software only in accordance with the license agreement.

4. Rochester Public Schools' employees learning of any misuse of software or related documentation within the District shall notify the appropriate building principal, department head, and Technology Support Services.

5. According to the U.S. Copyright Law, illegal reproduction of software can be subject to civil damages of as much as $250,000 per work copied and criminal penalties, including fines and imprisonment. District employees who make, acquire, or use unauthorized copies of computer software shall be disciplined as appropriate under the circumstances. The Rochester Public Schools does not condone the illegal duplication of software.

Adapted from the Software Publishers Association. Copyright ©1993. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

B. District Software Guidelines:

1. The Technology Support Services Coordinator, with building principals and department heads, is charged with the responsibility of insuring compliance with appropriate copyright laws.

2. Technology Support Services will establish and maintain a software log and will supervise the storage of software, licenses, and registration materials.

3. Technology Support Services will conduct periodic software inventories and compare results with authorized number of copies.

4. Software on networks and individual hard drives should be installed only by Technology Support Services or other authorized personnel.

5. Individual staff members are not authorized to install software unless given specific permission to do so by Technology Support Services.

6. Certain MECC products are the only pieces of software that we can make unlimited numbers of copies. These disks are duplicated by Technology Support Services.

C. Permissible Uses:

1. Individual disks may be copied for archival purposes only. Technology Support Services will make backup copies of software.

2. A damaged copy may be replaced with a duplicated one until a replacement copy is purchased. Technology Support Services will either replace damaged copies or make arrangements to do so.

3. Users should back up their data files regularly. Backing up of these files generally should not violate any copyright laws.

D. Prohibitions (unless copyright permission is received):

1. Installation of personally owned software on District machines is prohibited by most software licenses. The vast majority of licenses permit the software to be installed on one and only one machine. Occasionally a software license will permit the use of software on two machines as long as only one of the machines is in use at any one time. The license itself is the final arbitrator of what is prohibited.

2. No software license permits the duplication of a single-user software license for use at a workshop or conference.

3. No software license permits the duplication of a single-user software license for a short term.

4. No software license permits renting, loaning, or giving away duplicated copies to another user.


IX. Fair Use Guidelines For Educational Multimedia

Conference on Fair Use (CONFU), December 12, 1996; prepared by the Educational Multimedia Fair Use Guidelines Development Committee, July 17, 1996

Note: The following guidelines are abstracted from the total CONFU document. Please contact Media Services for a copy of the complete document.

Section 1

Educational multimedia projects created under these guidelines incorporate students' or educators' original material, such as course notes or commentary, together with various copyrighted media formats including but not limited to, motion media, music, text material, graphics, illustrations, photographs and digital software which are combined into an integrated presentation.

Educational multimedia projects which incorporate portions of copyrighted works under these guidelines may be used only for educational purposes in systematic learning activities including use in connection with non-commercial, curriculum-based learning and teaching activities by educators to students enrolled in courses at nonprofit educational institutions or otherwise permitted under Section 3. While these guidelines refer to the creation and use of educational multimedia projects, readers are advised that in some instances other fair use guidelines such as those for off-air taping may be relevant.


These uses are subject to the Portion Limitations listed in Section 4. They should include proper attribution and citation as defined in Sections 6.2.

2.1 By students:

Students may incorporate portions of lawfully acquired copyrighted works when producing their own educational multimedia projects for a specific course.

2.2 By Educators for Curriculum-Based Instruction:

Educators may incorporate portions of lawfully acquired copyrighted works when producing their own educational multimedia programs for their own teaching tools in support of curriculum-based instructional activities at educational institutions.


Uses of educational multimedia projects created under these guidelines are subject to the Time, Portion, Copying and Distribution Limitations listed in Section 4.

3.1 Student Use:

Students may perform and display their own educational multimedia projects created under Section 2 of these guidelines for educational uses in the course for which they were created and may use them in their own portfolios as examples of their academic work for later personal uses such as job and graduate school interviews

3.2 Educator Use for Curriculum-Based Instruction:

Educators may perform and display their own educational multimedia projects created under Section 2 for curriculum-based instruction to students in the following situations:

3.2.1 for face-to-face instruction,

3.2.2 assigned to students for directed self-study,

3.2.3 for remote instruction to students enrolled in curriculum-based courses and located at remote sites, provided over the educational institution's secure electronic network in real-time, or for after class review or directed self-study, provided there are technological limitations on access to the network and educational multimedia project (such as a password or PIN) and provided further that the technology prevents the making of copies of copyrighted material.

If the educational institution's network or technology used to access the educational multimedia project created under Section 2 of these guidelines cannot prevent duplication of copyrighted material, students or educators may use the multimedia educational projects over an otherwise secure network for a period of only 15 days after its initial real-time remote use in the course of instruction or 15 days after its assignment for directed self-study. After that period, one of the two use copies of the educational multimedia project may be placed on reserve in a learning resource center, library or similar facility for on-site use by students enrolled in the course. Students shall be advised that they are not permitted to make their own copies of the multimedia project.

3.3 Educator Use for Peer Conferences:

Educators may perform or display their own multimedia projects created under Section 2 of these guidelines in presentations to their peers, for example, at workshops and conferences.

3.4 Educator Use for Professional Portfolio

Educators may retain educational multimedia projects created under Section 2 of these guidelines in their personal portfolios for later personal uses such as tenure review or job interviews.


The preparation of educational multimedia projects incorporating copyrighted works under Section 2, and the use of such projects under Section 3, are subject to the limitations noted below.

4.1 Time Limitations

Educators may use their educational multimedia projects created for educational purposes under Section 2 of these guidelines for teaching courses, for a period of up to two years after the first instructional use with a class. Use beyond that time period, even for educational purposes, requires permission for each copyrighted portion incorporated in the production. Students may use their educational multimedia projects as noted in Section 3.1.

4.2 Portion Limitations

Limits apply cumulatively to each educator's or student's multimedia project(s) for the same academic semester, cycle or term. All students should be instructed about the reasons for copyright protection and the need to follow these guidelines.

4.2.1 Motion Media

Up to 10% or 3 minutes, whichever is less, in the aggregate of a copyrighted motion media work may be reproduced or otherwise incorporated as part of a multimedia project created under Section 2 of these guidelines.

4.2.2 Text Material

Up to 10% or 1000 words, whichever is less, in the aggregate of a copyrighted work consisting of text material may be reproduced or otherwise incorporated as part of a multimedia project created under Section 2 of these guidelines. An entire poem of less than 250 words may be used, but no more than three poems by one poet, or five poems by different poets from any anthology may be used. For poems of greater length, 250 words may be used but no more than three excerpts by a poet, or five excerpts by different poets from a single anthology may be used.

4.2.3 Music, Lyrics, and Music Video

Up to 10%, but in no event more than 30 seconds, of the music and lyrics from an individual musical work (or in the aggregate of extracts from an individual work), whether the musical work is embodied in copies, or audio or audiovisual works, may be reproduced or otherwise incorporated as a part of a multimedia project created under Section 2. Any alterations to a musical work shall not change the basic melody or the fundamental character of the work.

4.2.4 Illustrations and Photographs

The reproduction or incorporation of photographs and illustrations is more difficult to define with regard to fair use because fair use usually precludes the use of an entire work. Under these guidelines a photograph or illustration may be used in its entirety but no more than 5 images by an artist or photographer may be reproduced or otherwise incorporated as part of an educational multimedia project created under Section 2. When using photographs and illustrations from a published collective work, not more than 10% or 15 images, whichever is less, may be reproduced or otherwise incorporated as part of an educational multimedia project created under Section 2.

4.2.5 Numerical Data Sets

Up to 10% or 2500 fields or cell entries, whichever is less, from a copyrighted database or data table may be reproduced or otherwise incorporated as part of a educational multimedia project created under Section 2 of these guidelines. A field entry is defined as a specific item of information, such as a name or Social Security number, in a record of a database file. A cell entry is defined as the intersection where a row and a column meet on a spreadsheet.

4.3 Copying and Distribution Limitations

Only a limited number of copies, including the original, may be made of an educator's educational multimedia project. For all of the uses permitted by Section 3, there may be no more than two use copies only one of which may be placed on reserve as described in Section 3.2.3.

In the case of a jointly created educational multimedia project, each principal creator may retain one copy but only for the purposes described in Sections 3.3 and 3.4 for educators and Section 3.1 for students

6.2 Attribution and Acknowledgment

Educators and students are reminded to credit the sources and display the copyright notice © and copyright ownership information if this is shown in the original source, for all works incorporated as part of the educational multimedia projects prepared by educators and students, including those prepared under fair use. Crediting the source must adequately identify the source of the work, giving a full bibliographic description where available (including author, title, publisher, and place and date of publication). The copyright ownership information includes the copyright notice (©, year of first publication and name of the copyright holder).

The credit and copyright notice information may be combined and shown in a separate section of the educational multimedia project (e.g. credit section) except for images incorporated into the project for the uses described in Section 3.2.3. In such cases, the copyright notice and the name of the creator of the image must be incorporated into the image when, and to the extent, such information is reasonably available; credit and copyright notice information is considered "incorporated" if it is attached to the image file and appears on the screen when the image is viewed. In those cases when displaying source credits and copyright ownership information on the screen with the image would be mutually exclusive with an instructional objective (e.g., during examinations in which the source credits and/or copyright information would be relevant to the examination questions), those images may be displayed without such information being simultaneously displayed on the screen. In such cases, this information should be linked to the image in a manner compatible with such instructional objectives.

6.3 Notice of Use Restrictions

Educators and students are advised that they must include on the opening screen of their multimedia program and any accompanying print material a notice that certain materials are included under the fair use exemption of the U.S. Copyright Law and have been prepared according to the multimedia fair use guidelines and are restricted from further use.


X. Internet

Those who find something of interest on the Internet or other electronic services should remember that the author, in fixing his or her ideas in a medium, establishes copyright for that material. Consequently, it is best to assume that material one locates on the Internet or other networks is subject to the same fair use requirements as materials which carry a copyright notice.

A. Permissible Uses:

1. Web-based material is copyrighted. Notification of copyright status is not required on this material. Small portions of web documents may be used by teachers in class if there is not sufficient time to secure permission.

2. Teachers may direct classes to access specific Internet sites. However, showing a web document to a class (i.e., through a projector) constitutes a public performance or display of that page.

3. Material downloaded from public domain sites may be used for classroom instruction and in presentations.

B. Prohibitions (unless copyright permission is received):

1. Access to works on the Internet does not automatically mean that these can be reproduced and reused without permission or royalty payment. Some copyrighted works may have been posted to the Internet without authorization of the copyright holder.

2. Large chunks of images, documents, and web sites should not be taken without consent.

3. Unless there is a clear statement that art, photos, and text are public domain and available for free use, the best policy is to assume that they are copyrighted and should not be taken and used on a local area network (LAN), a wide area network (WAN), or a web site.

4. Student work may not be published to the Internet without written parent/guardian approval. In any case, the student retains copyright to the material.


XI. Summary

Permission to use copyrighted materials included in the curriculum will be obtained through the Office of Curriculum and Instruction.

If an individual teacher elects to use copyrighted materials not included in broad curricular instruction, then the individual teacher must seek permission for use from the copyright holder, whether the material is print, computer software, video, photography, audio, or other copyrighted formats. Please see sample letter below.

Please note: Print on school/site letterhead.
Permissions Department
City, ST ZIP

Dear Reader:

This letter is to request permission to duplicate/use the following material:

Title: Copyright for Schools: A Practical Guide Copyright: Linworth Publishing, Inc., 1997
Author(s): Carol Mann Simpson
Material to be duplicated: pages 57-66, Chapter 5 - Computer Software
Number of copies: 60 (one per student in two classes)
Manner of distribution: no charge for the materials
Type of reproduction: photocopy
Purpose of use/reproduction: ninth grade orientation to computer lab
When: fall, 1999

A self-addressed, stamped envelope is enclosed for your convenience. Please respond and notify me of fees, if any, for this permission.




Barbara Fiehn
Al Loeffler
Michon Rogers-Olson
Wayne Servais
John Sobotta
Brenda Strack
Cheryl Winters


Colleen Arnold
James Godsey
Paul Gustafson
Charles Harkins
John Kudlas
Betty Lallier
Al Loeffler
Jeff Lueders
Patricia Rohrbaugh
Wayne Servais


There are many opportunities each school year to have a class or grade level use videos for curricular enhancement. These videos can be a positive learning experience for students; however, difficulties can arise when administrators and parents/guardians have not been properly notified prior to use of the video or when fair use provisions of the copyright law are violated. In order to support teachers in making decisions about the use of videos (particularly non-curricular videos) and to promote stronger communication with the administration as well as parents/guardians, the following guidelines are provided.

Teachers are expected to use sound professional judgment in selecting videos which support District curriculum. When selecting videos for classroom instruction, consideration should be given to:

relevancy to curriculum.
age level, maturity, and interest of the students.
effective use of instructional time.
any pertinent copyright issues.
avoiding duplication by being aware of the use of the video in other grades or subject areas.

When using a video as an instructional resource, best practices include:

linking video information to course objectives.
clearly cueing students to important information/concepts.
building in time for processing and debriefing.
assessment of student learning as a result of the viewing experience.

Teachers are requested to inform building principals of the title and rating of a non-curricular video before it is shown. Video use that is planned as an integral part of a unit of study is allowed under the fair use provisions of the copyright law. However, using videos for reward, entertainment, "filler," inclement weather day activity, etc., becomes a "public performance" and permission rights must be obtained. The District has purchased a public performance license that covers many video producers. You are required to check the list of covered producers before your public performance use. The list is available at building media centers, school offices, ESC Media Services, and RITS Studio.

The following guidelines pertain to the rating of films:

Elementary: PG videos may be shown with parent/guardian permission at elementary schools.
Middle School: R-rated videos are not appropriate for use at the middle school. If a PG or PG-13 video is shown at the middle school, parent/guardian permission is required. An alternative learning experience will be provided for students who do not have permission to view the video.
High School: If an R-rated video is shown at the high school level, parent/guardian permission is required. An alternative learning experience will be provided for students who do not have permission to view the video.


615 Seventh Street SW Rochester, MN 55902
Contact Person: Director of Curriculum and Instruction
Version.Modification: 1.2
Status: final
Security: Unclassified
Release Date: August 3, 1998
Last Update: July 31, 1998       
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