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Face-to-face instruction

As defined in 17 U.S. Code § 107, face-to-face instruction takes place when the instructor and students of a nonprofit institution are in a place dedicated to instruction and the teaching and learning take place at the same time (such as a classroom). In this setting, all performances and displays of a work are allowed, with the limitations listed below.

Example materials

  • Printed text, such as a journal article or book chapter may be distributed in class.
    • The amount of copyrighted material must be limited (such as a single book chapter and not the entire book).
    • Items normally purchased by each member of a class, such as workbooks, standardized tests, or coursepacks, cannot be distributed. Coursepacks require copyright permission and likely fees for use. Printing Services obtains copyright clearances for the university community.
  • Images such as photos, maps, charts, and slides may be displayed as long as it it for instructional and not entertainment purposes.
  • Music can be performed (such as playing a CD) as long as it is for instructional and not entertainment purposes.
  • Videos and other audiovisual materials may be shown in class as long as it is for instructional and not entertainment purposes.
    • All other public performances of movies must be licensed by the copyright holder: clubs cannot show movies outside of a home viewing experience without a license or permission even if no admission is charged.
    • The library owns some DVDs with public performance rights that can be shown outside of the home environment.


  • The material has been legally acquired
  • The performance or display of the copyrighted material takes place in a classroom or similar place

Contact us

  •     Gail McMillan
  • Gail M McMillan
  • Director, Digital Library and Archive
  • 540-231-9252
  • 2036 Newman Library (0434)
    560 Drillfield Drive
    Blacksburg, VA 24061