I have been asked to distribute copyrighted materials to a class as part of my job. How do I know if it is OK to do so?

You have a few options. If the materials are being prepared for use in a course, fair use provisions may or may not apply. The best way to know for sure is to ask the faculty member associated with the course if they have done a four-factors analysis for any of the given works. You can browse this web site for further information about a variety of material types such as text, recorded audio, films and other resources.

The University of Minnesota has a very good list of approaches for Teaching and Educational Use that do not involve making copies. There are a range of options that include students are purchasing books with the relevant materials or linking to readings available available through library subscriptions. Think about your options before making copies.

Finally, there is an increasing trend to include clear descriptions of appropriate uses of copyrighted materials with the copyrighted material itself. Some copyright holders have begun to indicate appropriate uses of a given work through Creative Commons license agreements that may, for example, allow for noncommercial uses.