Roger Billings


Although not expressly authorized by law, it has, through custom, become regarded as a fair use for scholars to make handwritten copies of copyrighted materials needed for research. The basis for allowing hand-copying is that it is such a slow, tedious method of reproduction that scholars usually choose to purchase the complete work rather than to hand-copy excerpts from it. Consequently, hand-copying does not significantly reduce publishers' sales. However, this reasoning obviously cannot be applied to photocopying. As photocopying, a fast and convenient process, becomes cheaper than buying the book, when a professor desires to make a complete volume for his personal use, the question whether he should be allowed to do so without compensating the author will inevitably arise. Most educators do not think they have the right to copy an entire work.