Copyright and Fair Use Information

In general, OLLI’s photocopy guidelines are as follows:

  • Full books or substantial portions of books (exceeding 10%) may not be copied;
  • No more than one short poem, article, story, essay, or two excerpts may be copied from the same author;
  • Photocopying may not be used to substitute for class members’ purchase of books. If a book can be found for purchase online or in a bookstore, members should purchase it. If a study group leader would like to use a substantial portion of a book, he/she should let the office know so the book can be added to the study group’s required reading.

The above guidelines also apply to books that are out of print (for the life of the author plus 70 years).

Below is a link to "Reproduction of Copyrighted Works by Educators and Librarians," a document prepared by the U.S. Copyright Office. Pages 6-8 refer specifically to guidelines for classroom copying in a not-for-profit educational institution. A link is also provided below to "Fair Use" which outlines the basic factors used to evaluate fair use of copyrighted material. 

Download "Reproduction of Copyrighted Works by Educators and Librarians" (PDF) Refer specifically to pages 6-8.

View the U.S. Copyright Office information about Fair Use:
Study Group Leaders should review the above information and may call the Copyright Office at 202-707-5959 if they have any questions regarding photocopies for their study group.