Chicago, IL asked in Intellectual Property for Illinois

Q: Do I need publisher permission to record readings of purchased books on CD or MP3 for elementary school classrooms?

I'm writing a grant proposal to help parents and teachers support students in Kindergarten - 2nd grade that are struggling in reading in urban schools. I am trying to develop a home audio program (for educational purposes, not for profit) for these students since their parents may not be able to read them at home. Would I be able to record a reading of purchased books on CD (1 CD per classroom) or MP3 (5 copies per classroom) or do I need permission from the publisher? Students could "check out" the books from their classroom library to take home too and then return to the classroom. I’m not sure how to interpret Fair Use in terms of the number of copies and if the market value would be affected.

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer

A: Most likely you will need to get the publisher's permission (unless the books are old enough to be in a public domain, i.e. not protected by copyright law). Fair use exception applies to a chapter from a book, or a small portion of a movie,etc. but would not protect you from copying an entire book, even for educational purposes. For more info check this site:

I would recommend contacting the publisher and asking for a permission to copy - they should give you such permission, considering the noble cause of your enterprise.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.