Michigan State University

Simplifying Course Pack Creation

An Introduction to Fair Use

BE AWARE, FAIR USE IS NOT ALWAYS APPLICABLE WHEN USING COPYRIGHTED MATERIALS WITHOUT SECURING PERMISSIONS, EVEN IN ACADEMIC SETTINGS

To ensure a balance of the rights of copyright owners and the public interest, the law allows you to use copyrighted works without permission – regardless of medium – when evaluation of the circumstances suggests the use is fair. This “fair use” provision of copyright law doesn’t provide hard and fast rules to tell you whether a use qualifies as fair. Instead, the unique facts regarding a use lead you to a reasoned conclusion. Your evaluation should weigh four factors:

  1. Purpose and character: If your use is for teaching or nonprofit educational institution , this is in favor for fair use
  2. Nature of copyrighted book: Is the work fact-based, published, or out of print? These factors weigh in favor of fair use
  3. Amount used: Using a small portion of a whole work would weigh toward fairness.
  4. Market effect: A use is more likely to be fair if it does not harm the potential market for or value of copyrighted work.
    (guidelines by Association of Research Libraries)

Preparing Your Own Course Pack

Starting the Process

To begin researching for your course pack, it may be helpful to use some of these resources

Where We Come In

Once you have an idea of the selections you want to use, please submit a complete bibliography to us. For tips on what to include in your bibliography, please consult our Bibliographic Tips page. As soon as we receive your bibliography, we will immediately begin the process of obtaining copyright permissions for the selections you submit. At this stage, you do not need to have master copies of each selection for us.

If scanning from hard copy material is required, we can have the selections scanned for you for no additional charge by our trained copy center staff. If the selections are a part of the Main Library holdings and available, we can retrieve the copy and scan the material for you, provided we have a sufficient description of the content needed for the pack (page ranges, chapter number, etc.)

We will send you a quote for the unit price of your course pack based on royalties and estimated printing costs. When we have cleared the price with you, we can continue with production. It is routine for us to produce a proof copy for you to review before the full run begins printing, to capture any errors. Below are a few options to consider for the presentation of your course pack.

The Basics

Consider including a table of contents and contact information for faculty and instructors. In addition, please try to prepare your course pack master to have these standard requirements:

Submitting masters in electronic format

  • PDF file format is preferred
  • When producing the PDF, set Default Settings to “Press Quality” and uncheck “Rely on system fonts only; do not use document fonts”. Doing so will ensure that the output will be in high quality and the fonts will appear in your final printed product as they do on your computer.

Submitting masters in hard copy

  • Should contain original 8.5”x 11” materials or clean legible copies without any black columns
  • All materials should be printed on the pages, avoid gluing or taping materials onto pages
  • Use a 1” left margin for binding or duplication on three-hole paper
  • Use 20-lb white bond, one side only, in preparing originals
  • Use black ink, blue will not reproduce
  • Avoid using Post-It® notes to affix instructions; the residue left on paper often appears on copies

Pricing

No extra charge for pickup and delivery, three-hole drilled stock in white and standard colors, pagination, and electronic storage.

Packs without copyrighted material

  • copies at 3.5 cents per page
  • prorated cost of desk copies
  • binding fees (see below)
  • nominal handling fee per pack

Packs containing copyrighted material

  • copies at 4 cents per page
  • prorated cost of desk copies
  • binding fees (see below)
  • nominal handling fee per pack
  • associated royalties/charges assessed by rightsholders of copyrighted content
    (On average, rightsholders/publishers charge approximately 18 cents in royalties per page. This varies from publisher to publisher, and some materials may not have any royalty charges.)

Binding Options

  • Three-hole drilled (free)
  • Shrink-wrap (15 cents per pack)
  • Coil (80 cents to 3.00 dollars per pack)

The Final Steps

Once the course pack has been finalized we will send it to our printer for product and it can be distributed at the Spartan Book Store or our convenient off campus location. We also drop off desk copies to your office as well as archive the pack for easy reprinting.

About Us

Our program serves faculty by printing high quality course packs complete with copyright clearance and affordable prices. We already serve about one third of Michigan State’s faculty and we hope to expand our services to you. We are committed to making sure every one of our customers feel they are receiving the individual attention they deserve. As part of the Spartan community we value higher education greatly, which is why in order to keep prices down, we do not work for profit.