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This guide provides an introduction to U.S. copyright law and associated resources related to education and scholarship.

Exceptions to Copyright

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This guide provides information on the exceptions most relevant to academia. These include fair use and the TEACH Act. Other exceptions include library services, first sale doctrine, public displays, face-to-face teaching, distance learning, noncommercial performances, backup copying of computer software, pictures or representations of architectural works, and special formats for visual impairment or other disabilities.


"One of the most important aspects of copyright ownership is that the rights of owners are not complete. The law grants a broad set of rights to an enormous range of materials, then proceeds to carve out exceptions to those rights. The best known of these exceptions is fair use. The U.S. Copyright Act, however, includes not fewer than sixteen statutory provisions that establish exceptions to the rights of copyright owners. Unlike fair use, most statutory exceptions are relevant only to certain industries and require careful legal guidance to comprehend and apply."

Crews, K. D. (2012). Copyright law for librarians and educators: Creative strategies and practical solutions (3rd ed.), p. 45. American Library Association.

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