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This section describes how you may use works in the classroom. The law provides broad permission for most classroom activities.

Follow the steps given in section 5 of this guide, “When Copyright Permission Is Needed,” modified as follows. 

The following is not an infringement of copyright:

“Performance or display of a work by instructors or pupils in the course of face-to-face teaching activities of a nonprofit educational institution, in a classroom or similar place devoted to instruction, unless, in the case of a motion picture or other audio-visual work, the performance, or the display of individual images, is given by means of a copy that was not lawfully made . . . and that the person responsible for the performance knew or had reason to believe was not lawfully made.” 

§110 (1), Copyright Act

Sample Scenarios

Q:  I use PowerPoint slides to supplement my course lectures. May I include on them cartoons, graphs, or other images that I copied from elsewhere? 

A:  Yes. This use is justified by the copyright exemption described in this chapter. But be sure to exercise good scholarly practice by citing your sources.


Q:  May I show a documentary or play a piece of music in class?

A:  Yes. These uses are justified by the copyright exemption described in this section.