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Copyright Compliance

General Provisions

This procedural directive includes the specific exemptions in Copyright law for educational purposes.

The word "person" in the policy refers to teachers, students, and other Albuquerque Public School personnel.

Legal or insurance protection of the district shall not be extended to persons who violate copyright laws.

It is the responsibility of each school principal to schedule an annual review of the copyright policy and regulation at a school staff meeting. It is the responsibility of each teacher-librarian to keep school staff informed on the use of copyrighted materials, to maintain appropriate records of permission, agreements, licenses and registrations, and to place appropriate copyright warning notices on or near copying equipment.

Plagiarism is the use of the work of another without acknowledgment. Copyright violation is the use of the work of another without permission. Permission can be granted in a number of ways: by law or by the copyright holder. Always acknowledge the work of others whether using their exact words or images they have created, when paraphrasing, or if merely influenced by their ideas. Plagiarism violates APS Policy. This includes unpublished materials.

Published/Unpublished Materials

Publication is the distribution to an audience of a work. These rules shall apply regardless of the form of the work.

Under Educational Fair Use, and if done non-repetitively, it is legal for a person to:

  • Make a single copy of the following:
    • A chapter from a book;
    • An article from a periodical or newspaper;
    • A short story, short essay, or short poem;
    • A chart, graph, diagram, drawing, cartoon, or picture from a periodical, or newspaper;
    • A short excerpt (up to 10 percent) from a performable unit of music such as a song, movement, or section for academic purposes other than performance.
  • Make multiple copies (not to exceed one per pupil) for classroom use of the following:
    • A complete poem if fewer than than 250 words and less than two pages;
    • A poetic excerpt if fewer than 250 words;
    • A story, essay, or article if fewer than 2500 words;
    • A prose excerpt from 500 to 1000 words;
    • One illustration (chart, diagram, graph, drawing, cartoon, or picture) per book or periodical issue;
    • An excerpt of up to two pages of "special works" containing words and pictures;
    • Up to 10 percent of a performable unit of music (song, movement, section) for academic purposes other than performance.

 It is illegal for a person, without permission of the copyright holder, to:

  • Copy to create anthologies, compilation or collected works, or to replace or substitute for such.
  • Copy from works intended to be consumable (e.g. workbooks, exercises, standardized test booklets, and answer sheets).
  • Copy to substitute for purchase of books, videos or other audiovisual materials, publishers' reprints, periodicals, music or recordings.
  • Require another to make illegal copies as an assigned work responsibility.
  • Copy the same item for more than one semester without securing permission.
  • Utilize more than nine instances of multiple copying per course, per term. (See legal multiple copies above.)
  • Copy more than one short work or two excerpts from one author's works in any one term.
  • Copy music, lyrics, or scripts for performance of any kind except for emergencies described in "Multimedia Materials."
  • Copy protected materials without inclusion of a notice of copyright.
  • Charge students more than the actual cost of photocopying the authorized copies.

 Unpublished materials have greater copyright protection including enhanced penalties. Even under Educational Fair Use, a person may not use unpublished materials without permission. Examples of unpublished materials include:

  • Internal reports
  • Diaries and letters
  • Email individually addressed to fewer than 20 people

Electronic Materials

Computer Software

There is no "fair use" provision for computer software. The only copies of computer software that can be made under Copyright laws are:

  • Backup copy for archival purposes only;
  • Copy that a machine makes when written to memory or temporary files when executing the software.

When the license to use software has expired or been transferred, all copies should be destroyed. In addition to copyright most software is subject to conditions contained in licensing agreements. Such conditions shall be respected. 

Shareware authorizes limited use of a program for evaluation purposes only. Shareware shall not be used beyond the evaluation period without payment.

Open source software is either published domain software or free for use as permitted by the author. It will always be so marked. If in doubt it is not open source.

Illegal copies of copyrighted programs may not be made, installed, or used on District equipment. The legal or insurance protection of the District will not be extended to employees who violate copyright laws.

Only the Superintendent or designee may sign District software license agreements. The administrator of each location is responsible for establishing practices which will enforce this directive at the school level.

District or school licensed software may NOT be installed on personal electronic devices.


For classroom use the same rules apply to materials derived from the Internet as derived from other sources. Persons shall not copy entire web sites for classroom use without permission of the Copyright holder.

Persons shall not copy entire web sites for classroom use as derived from other sources.

In creating web sites, be aware that placing material on a website constitutes publication. Do not publish the work of others without permission. This includes the use of copyrighted images. Material obtained from other websites should include a link to that site. Any links to another web site should clearly identify the provider. Failure to do so constitutes plagiarism.

Do not place on a web site student work which contains derived material without the permission of the copyright holder.

Always cite the source for any published material.

Multi-Media Materials

Non-Print Material Obtained from Outside Sources

Non-Print materials, whether owned, rented, or licensed, may be copyrighted. Copyrighted materials may not be transferred to a different format or duplicated in total or in part without obtaining the written permission of the copyright holder and paying any required fees for copyright release. Un-authorized admission charges for viewing are prohibited.

Renting, purchasing, or streaming a video or other digital content has the potential for copyright infringement. On most video and digital content obtained from commercial sources, “FOR HOME USE ONLY” is clearly stated. “HOME USE ONLY” means:

  • A legally purchased VHS, DVD or other digital format  may only be circulated to patrons who will view the video in their own homes;
  • These videos may also be used in face-to-face classroom settings where a teacher is present and the subject of the video correlates with the curriculum, according to the Educational Fair Use clauses of copyright law. However, for rented or privately licensed videos, such use may violate contract law in the form of Terms of Service or other agreements made with the video provider. This practice is discouraged.

Showing, in their entirety, full-length feature films to students, parents, or the public requires a public performance license.

It is legal for a person to:

  • Make a single recording of student performances for evaluation, rehearsal, or archival purposes;
  • Make a single recording of oral exercises or examination questions using recorded copyrighted materials;
  • Make-an emergency replacement copy to substitute for a purchased copy that is not available for an imminent performance; provided purchased replacement copies are substituted in due course.

Educational Fair Use does not necessarily allow showing of copyrighted audiovisual material in the classroom. For more information on the use of videos and audiovisual materials, please refer to the APS Procedural Directive on the Use of Videos and Films.

Guidelines for Off-Air Recording of Broadcast Programming for Educational Purposes

The following guidelines reflect legal application of "fair use" to the recording, retention and use of television broadcast programs for educational purposes. The guidelines were developed to apply only to off air recordings by non-profit educational institutions.

A broadcast program may be recorded off-air simultaneously with broadcast transmission (including simultaneous cable re-transmission) and retained by a non-profit educational institution for less than a year. All off-air recordings must be erased or destroyed within a year. "Broadcast programs" are television programs transmitted by television stations for reception by the general public without charge.

Off-air recordings shall not be used repetitively.

Off-air recordings may be made only at the request of and used by individuals, and may not be regularly recorded in anticipation of requests. No broadcast program may be recorded off-air more than once at the request of the same person, regardless of the number of times the program may be broadcast.

Certain programs grant permission expressly to educational institutions for their use beyond these limitations. Any use of such materials shall comply with permitting conditions.

Administrative Position:             Chief of Schools

Department Director:                 

  • Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction
  • Director of Library Services
  • Principals


Legal Cross Ref.:                                Educational Fair Use Act

Board Policy Cross Ref.:                   

Procedural Directive Cross Ref.:

NSBA/NEPN Classification: EGAD

Revised: May 1995
Revised: April 1996
Revised: May 1997
: March 9, 2016
March 18, 2016
Reviewed:  January 5, 2023
Revised:  January 20, 2023