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Copyright Guide: Electronic Texts/Print Sources

2020 Copyright Guide




E-books, or electronic books, are versions of a book you can read online. Some of these books can be printed or downloaded, often a limited number of pages at a time. 

  • Ebook on EBSCO
    • Provides access to over 100,000 eBooks (digital full-text versions of books) such as reference works, scholarly books, and literature and fictions. For educations and personal use only. 
  • Online Books Page
    • Links to 25,000 free e-books on the Web, courtesy of the University of Pennsylvania. 
  • Project Gutenberg
    • The original e-book site containing over 17,000 titles, most published 75 or more years ago. 
  • Hathi Trust Digital Library
    • HathiTrust is a large-scale collaborative repository of digital content from research libraries. 
  • Internet Archive
    • Archive of digital texts, audio, moving images, and web pages. 
  • Bartleby
    • makes out-of-copyright titles available for free. Think literary classics, plus non-fictions, poetry, and reference works. 



Open Educational Resources and Government Docs


National Academies Press-Most books published by NAP can be downloaded for free in PDF format. Find the book you want, skip the print price, and click "Download Free PDF." You must register to use the free downloads.

Government Documents-Materials created by/for the federal government are not copyrighted. 


1. Multiple Copies for Classroom Use


  • The copying is at the instance and inspiration of the individual teacher, and 
  • The inspiration and decision to use the work and the moment of its use for maximum teaching effectiveness are so close in time that it would be unreasonable to expect a timely reply to a request for permission. 

Cumulative Effect

  • The copying of the material is for only one course in the school in which the copies are made. 
  • 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. (The limitations stated above shall not apply to current news periodicals and newspapers and current news sections of other periodicals.)

2. Prohibitions as to the Above


  • Copying shall not be used to create or to replace or substitute for anthologies, compilations or collective works. Such replacement or substitution may occur whether copies of various works or excerpts therefrom are accumulated or reproduced and used separately. 
  • There shall be no copying of or from works intended to be "consumable" in the course of study or of teaching. These include workbooks, exercises, standardized tests and test booklets and answer sheets and like consumable material.
  • Copying shall not:
    • substitute for the purchase of books, publishers' reprints or periodicals;
    • be directed by higher authority;
    • to be repeated with respect to the same item by the same teacher from term to term. 
  • No charge shall be made to the student beyond the actual cost of the photocopying. 


Page used with permission from UW Copyright Connection: Guidelines: Fair Use: Educational Copying 


  • Poetry
    • A complete poem if less than 250 words and if printed on no more than two pages or,
    • From a longer poem, an excerpt of not more than 250 words.
  • Prose
    • It is either a complete article, story or essay of less than 2,500 words, or
    • An excerpt from any prose work of not more than 1,000 words of 10% of the work, whichever is less, but in any event a minimum of 500 words. 
  • Illustration
    • ​​​​​​​One chart, graph, diagram, drawing, cartoon or picture per book or periodical issue.
  • "Special" Works
    • There are certain works in poetry, prose or in "poetic prose" which often combines language with illustrations and which as intended sometimes for children and at other times for a more general audience less than 2,500 words in all. 

Classroom Rules

(Click on picture to find out more.)