Copies of articles, chapters or short sections of books under copyright protection can be made by the instructor and given out to students in the class under fair use guidelines. Creative works such as fiction, music, art, etc. have more restrictions than factual works.
Keep in mind that the material must meet fair use guidelines including:
Obtain permission for any handouts to be used in subsequent semesters or use other full text options.
Electronic "handouts" - Apply same standards as above for readings posted on a class website with the additional requirement that access is limited to students in the course. Password-protected BlackBoard sites are acceptable, but websites open to anyone could be in violation of copyright law.
Also see Reserve Readings guidelines.
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