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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 41221
Experience:  I assist my clients with IP questions that arise in their daily course of doing business.
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Hello, I am a teacher. I am trying to put together interactive

Customer Question

Hello, I am a teacher. I am trying to put together interactive smart board lectures for my classroom and I came across some PDF documents on the web which are copyrighted. I asked the University where they are copyrighted for permission to copy and paste some of the material for my in class lectures, but they refused. Can I still use their material under Fair Practice? My school is nonprofit and it is for educational purposes only.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.

This is a very good question. Typically and usually this would indeed be covered under 'fair use' since you are attempting to utilize this solely for a non-profit and an educational manner. However, even fair use is trumped when the holder of the copyright expressly denies you the use. Here, since you were expressly and directly told to not use the documentation, doing so now would constitute active and intentional infringement on your part toward their work.

I am sorry, truly.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi, I am sure that you are sure, but if Fair practices says that I can, how can they tell me that I can't?

Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 4 years ago.


The reason is because the ability to protect the copyright extends to fair use. There have been instances where educational institutions have been sued successfully for utilizing information from copyrighted sources where the other party alleged that the use was no longer purely educational, it was protected, and/or that the amount of information utilized went beyond fair use limitations. In essence if they have a larger and a deeper pocket than you, they can find grounds then to file suit and claim injuries. That does not mean that they will win, but using their property after being expressly denied will give them cause to find a viable reason to pursue.

Good luck.