I am convinced that you were incorrect in your reason for editing the above post, and I think that a request for a xerox of a single trick from a large book of tricks IS legal. Virtually every library in the country and, the last time I looked, the Magic Castle, makes photocopy machines available for similar purposes. What makes it legal is fair use guidelines, especially the Brevity clause spelled out below. (I say this at risk of similar queries suddenly exploding, and would therefore consider it a good idea for Richard to outlaw such requests, legal or not. Nevertheless...)
(This from a university library.)
The U.S. Copyright Act serves as the legal basis for protection of intellectual property, and the U.S. Copyright Office is the governmental agency responsible for oversight of the copyright process. MTSU's Walker Library adheres to the "Fair Use" provision allowed by the United States Copyright Act (Title 17 U.S. Code) and works within standard educational guidelines to maintain consistent adherence to Title 17.
Under the Fair Use Provision (Title 17 U.S. Code Sec. 107), it is not an infringement of U.S. Copyright law to photocopy copyrighted works for purposes of teaching, scholarship, or research. However, the fair use exemption does not support indiscriminate photocopying of copyrighted materials for "educational purposes." The four factors for determining fair use are:
the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes,
the nature of the copyrighted work,
the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole,
the effect of the use upon the potential market for, or the value of, the copyrighted work.
It is necessary to apply all four factors when determining fair use for photocopying materials for "educational purposes."
U.S. House Report #94-1476 (Guidelines on Multiple Copying for Classroom Use) provides standards for educational fair use. Walker Library has established guidelines reflecting these standards. These guidelines are not law, but represent quantitative safe harbor photocopying, permitted under the fair use criteria. Usage beyond these guidelines will require copyright clearance. The following guidelines are utilized:
A chapter from a book, or 10% of a non print unit.
An article from a periodical or newspaper, or no more than 30 seconds of a unit of music.
A short story, short essay, short poem, or 2500 fields or cells of a database.
A chart, diagram, cartoon, drawing, or picture from a book, periodical, newspaper or 10% of a unit of photographs and illustrations.
The copying is at the instance and inspiration of the individual teacher.
The decision to use a photocopy of the work and the moment of its use for maximum teaching effectiveness are too close in time for copyright clearance permission.
3. CUMULATIVE EFFECT
The copying of the material is for only one course.
Allowance of only one unit of work from the same intellectual property holder; one short poem, article, story, essay or excerpt may be copied from the same author or from the work of a creative individual.
Only three units copied from the same collective work; three short poems, articles, stories, essays or excerpts of creative work.
There may be only nine instances of such multiple copying for one course during one class term.