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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 88399
Experience:  Attorney practicing all aspects of copyright/trademark law
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I bought a book for school, can I make a copy of the book for

Customer Question

I bought a book for school, can I make a copy of the book for my own use to write on so I don't write in the book and can get my money back when I return the book to the campus store.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 4 years ago.
You have the right to make a copy of the book you purchased as long as you are using the copy for your personal use. The copyright laws merely prevent you from making copies to sell or distribute.


I hope you found my answer helpful, please click on the GREEN ACCEPT for my answer. This is necessary for me to be paid for my work and so that I can get credit for assisting you. Your question will not close, and you will still have the opportunity to follow-up if needed. Leaving a bonus and positive feedback is not required, but doing so is certainly appreciated!

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Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 88399
Experience: Attorney practicing all aspects of copyright/trademark law
Law Educator, Esq. and other Intellectual Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
My friend was waiting for his book to arrive from the book store because they ran out of the book before the class started and I made him a copy of my copy of the first four chapters for the first class until his book came. He asked can you do that and I didn't know so I thought I would ask. I thank you for your help
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 4 years ago.
That is fine since the fair use doctrine allows for copies for educational purpose as long as you are not charging him for the material (other than the copy costs). Please do not forget to click accept to release your deposit.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 4 years ago.
I do need to clarify something. When I said that you can copy the book so you can highlight, I did not mean to give you the impression you could copy it cover to cover, but you can copy chapters or pages for your personal use to make notations under the fair use doctrine. See: http://www.utsystem.edu/OGC/IntellectualProperty/copypol2.htm

I must also state that there is a differing opinion on this from another expert who believes that your copying of the book to save money for resale would be a violation of the copyright laws, and while I do not entirely agree, his comments have some validity. The collegue suggests that it would not be fair use because: "it is literally copying done solely to save money for the customer); factor 3 (whole book); and factor 4 (obvious economic harm to the copyright holder because it displaces a sale thru that return/used book)." However, selling back text books is an acceptable practice, so I still believe there is an argument you can make on your behalf, but you do need to be aware that this is not cut and dry and it can still be a copyright violation which would depend upon the nature and extent of the material you are copying.

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