University of Houston-Victoria

Copying and Copyrights

Section: General Index: A-5


The reproduction of published works or printed matter in violation of copyright laws, or beyond what is historically and legally considered as "fair use," is strictly forbidden; such violation could place both user and institution in legal jeopardy. The "fair use" principle means the extent that copyrighted material may be copied without permission of the copyright owner and encompasses four conditions or tests:

  • Use to be made of copies
  • Nature of copyrighted work
  • Amount and substantiality of portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole
  • Effect of use on the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work


Following are examples of what does, or does not, constitute "fair use":

  • Fair use applies only to reproduction for such purposes as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research.
  • Copying for nonprofit use has no bearing on the question of fair use.
    Copying portions of a news article may be fair use, but not copying from a workbook designed for a course of study.
  • Photocopying or duplicating by an individual for his or her personal use, as long as it is in single copy of an article, short poem, or small portion of the work as a whole, is generally considered fair use.
  • Fair use allows teachers, acting on their own, to copy small portions of a work for the classroom, but does not allow the institution to do so.
  • Systematic duplication, whether making multiple copies at one time or single copies that in the aggregate add up to multiples, is not considered fair use.
  • If resulting economic loss to the copyright owner can be shown, even making a single copy of certain materials may be a violation.


  1. Faculty Manual Policy 4.2, Copyright and Permission
  2. VC/UHV Library Copyright Tutorial

Approved by:

Signature Obtained                        08/17/16
Raymond V. Morgan, Jr., Ph.D.        Date