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.
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: http://home.earthlink.net/~cnew/research.htm#Purpose%20of%20use
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.
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