Adapted books

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  • I am a media specialist at a special needs school-all handicapped students-mentally handicapped, autistic and developmentally delayed. A staff member wants to adapt books like Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? as an electronic book- such as using the microsoft program: powerpoint to adapt and simplify the book. Then, the adapted pages of the book will be printed out and placed in a 3 ring binder. Can pictures and sentences from the original book be copied and used in this adapted book? Some of the staff have been to regional and state workshops, and this seems to be the thing to do. Well, we want to adhere to copyright guidelines and do what is legal correct for us. We have researched the Chafee Amendment and if we adhere to the following guidelines, will we be legal? Guidelines:

    Published books can be adapted to be accessible for individual children with special needs as long as the adaptations are not reproduced or distributed separately from the original version.

    o Published book must accompany electronic version of book.

    o Electronic version is only to be used in our school site
  • I'm not sure where you found the Chafee guidelines mentioned above.

    The Chafee Amendment is more limited. (Section 121) I think your school does meet the "authorized entity" standard since your primary mission is to serve the handicapped.
    But the Chafee Amendment limits the formats available for reproductions and distributions - "braille, audio, or digital text which is used exclusively for use by blind or other persons with disabilities." So, using power point and making copies for binders, etc does not qualify as a "specialized format."

    Obviously, the Chafee Amendment needs to be updated to reflect current reality- we can add that to our "wish list."

    On the other hand, I think the use you describe does pass muster for fair use (Section 107) by considering four factors -- purpose of the use, nature of the publication, amount used, and effect on the market for the work.
  • In clarification, the above guidelines are not a part of the Chafee Amendment. These guidelines are to be used with our electronic books to guide our authors of adapted books in following copyright guidelines so that we are within the law.
    Thank you for your reply.

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