Office of the Provost

University Photocopying Policy

As a result of the Copyright Act (Title 17 U.S. C.A. Section 101 et. seq.), which affects educational institutions, classroom teaching, libraries and users of copyrighted material in general, a detailed policy has been adopted by the University of Pittsburgh.

The following excerpts highlight only the key provisions:

Copyrighted Material: According to the Copyright Act, the following may be copyrighted: literary works; musical works, including any accompanying words; dramatic works, including any accompanying music; pantomimes and choreographic works; pictorial, graphic and sculptural works; motion pictures and other audiovisual works; sound recordings; and computer programs. One may therefore assume that almost any form of creative work may be subject to copyright protection. In addition, copyright protection is automatic for unpublished works, as well as for those that are published.

Photocopying: Only a single copy of a copyrighted article or a minor part of a work may be made unless written permission to do otherwise has been secured from the copyright holder by the person who makes the copy or requests copying service. Almost everything copyrighted prior to 1906 is now in the public domain, and multiple copies may be made. Most government documents are in the public domain; however, there are some exceptions. It is appropriate to check for a notice of copyright before making multiple copies of such material.

Single Copying for Teachers: A single copy may be made of the following by or for a teacher at his or her individual request for scholarly research or use in teaching or preparation to teach a class:

  • a chapter from a book,
  • an article from a periodical or newspaper,
  • a short story, short essay or short poem, whether or not from a collective work, and/or
  • a chart, graph, diagram, drawing, cartoon, or picture from a book, periodical, or newspaper.

Multiple Copies for Classroom Use: Multiple copies (not to exceed in any event more than one copy per pupil in a course) may be made by or for the teacher giving the course for classroom use or discussions provided that:

  • The copying meets the tests of brevity, spontaneity, and cumulative effects, as defined in University Policy 10-04-01, Copying Copyrighted Material, and
  • each copy includes a notice of copyright.

Music Scores: Copying for the purpose of performance is not permitted. However, copying is permitted in emergencies to replace University-owned copies that for any reason are not available for an imminent performance, providing purchased replacements shall be substituted in due course.

Prohibitions: 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 or not copies of various works or excerpts there from 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 similar consumable material.

Copying shall not:

  • substitute for the purchase of books, publishers’ reprints, or periodicals;
  • be directed by higher authority; or
  • be repeated with respect to the same item by the same teacher from term to term, without prior permission from the copyright owner.

No charge shall be made to the student beyond the actual cost of the photocopying.

For additional information, refer to University Policy 10-04-01, Copying Copyrighted Material.