The use of photocopies of periodical articles, book chapters, etc. is governed by U.S. Copyright Law.
Sections 107 (Fair Use) and 108 (reproduction by libraries) provide some limit to the rights given to copyright holders. Section 107 provides that it is not copyright infringement of a work when it is used "for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research…". Please note that all works published in the United States before 1923 are in the public domain, as are all United States govenment publications. You do not need to obtain copyright to use them.
In determining whether the use is fair, factors to consider "include" the following:
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 work as a whole; and
The effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the work.
Saint Mary’s Library will follow Fair Use guidelines, where appropriate, when considering accepting items for Course Reserves:
When you do not otherwise have express permission from a copyright holder, we will place only a portion of a copyrighted work on reserve limited to a single course and a single semester use.
- Repetition of reserve use of a copy of a copyrighted work does not fall under fair-use guidelines and requires permission from the publisher, even if the work is put back on reserve after being taken off of its initial period of reserve. If you intend to place material on reserve again, it will be necessary to obtain copyright permission from the publisher.
Periodical articles for which the Library has a license agreement for electronic access may be placed on reserve for the use of Saint Mary’s students without restriction. Electronic or paper copies of other periodical articles may be placed on reserve for a single semester without obtaining copyright permission.
Copies of articles or book chapters shall not substitute for the purchase of the book, journal, or collective work.
There will be no copying from "consumables," such as workbooks, test booklets, etc.
It is the responsibility of the instructor to ensure that materials placed on reserve are in compliance with copyright law. There are many sources of information regarding copyright law and various guidelines to assist in the determination of fair use. The following links may provide helpful information:
- Know Your Copy Rights by the Association of Research Libraries
Instructors are required to sign a fair-use/copyright form for each course in which they are submitting reserves. The Library will allow a one-week grace period for instructors to submit this form. The Library recommends that instructors also complete and retain for their files a worksheet for each item placed on reserve.
Instructors are required to seek permission themselves for any reserve items that do not fall under fair-use guidelines or for material that will be used for subsequent semesters. Permission may be sought in a number of ways for the extended or repeated use of material:
- The Copyright Clearance Center offers extensive resources to help instructors contact copyright holders and pay for copyright permissions. Visit their website for more information.
- If instructors know the publisher information of a copyrighted item they can contact them directly using this sample letter.
- The U.S. Copyright Office has an online search engine that will help instructors locate the publisher of a work in question.
- Instructors can contact a reference librarian for additional help in locating a particular publisher's contact information.
The Library will allow an eight-week grace period for instructors seeking permission to use a copyrighted work.
Frequently asked questions about our new policy regarding placing copies (photocopy, digital copy) on reserve again for the same course.
The Library has revised its reserve policies to align more closely with accepted guidelines regarding duplication of copyrighted material. Specifically, repetitive reserve use of a copy (photocopy, digital copy) of a copyrighted work does not fall under fair-use guidelines and requires permission from the publisher.
1) I’ve placed two photocopies of book chapters on reserve before, but they weren’t required readings. Do I still need to get permission to use them again?
Yes, if you’ve placed copies of chapters on reserve before and would like to use them again for the same class, you will need to ask the publisher for permission even if the material wasn’t required reading. However, you can place the book itself on reserve for check-out at the Circulation Desk without having the contact the publisher. Since you're not creating a second copy of the work by placing the book on reserve, you're working within fair-use guidelines.
2) What about books that I’ve placed on reserve before for check-out at the Circulation Desk? Do I need to get permission to use these again?
No. Since you placed the book itself on reserve, you do not need to get permission from the publisher to place it on reserve again. This policy pertains to copies of copyrighted works, such as digital copies or photocopies.
3) Does this new policy also apply to electronic reserves?
Yes, the new policy applies to material in both the traditional (print and media) and electronic collections.
4) Does this mean that articles may only be placed on reserve just before the assignment, as opposed to adding them to the collection at the start of the semester for a later reading assignment?
No. Articles can be posted at the beginning of the semester, but not for more than one semester without securing copyright permission.
5) How do I get permission to use the same material again for my course?
There are several methods an instructor can use to seek permission to use a copyrighted work. The Copyright Clearance Center offers extensive resources to help instructors contact copyright holders and pay for copyright permissions. If instructors know the publisher information of a copyrighted item they can contact them directly. The U.S. Copyright Office has an online search engine that will help instructors locate the publisher of a work in question. Instructors can contact a Reference Librarian for additional help in locating a particular publisher's contact information or to find out if we already have permission to use the material because it’s available in one of our electronic databases.
6) This new policy changes everything for me. What are my other options besides placing my material on reserve at the Library?
The bookstore may provide a service that secures copyright permissions for the instructor. Please contact the bookstore at 925-631-4373 for more information.
7) Can we place DVDs and videos on reserve for the same class, which we've had on reserve before? If we've had them on reserve for a different class, can we put them on reserve for another class?
The revised reserve copyright policy primarily applies to making copies of material to be placed in either the traditional or ERes collections. Video or print material owned by an instructor can be placed on reserve for the same or different classes, as before.
8) I often put a book that the students are required to buy on reserve just in case they misplace their copy, etc. Is that okay?
That's fair-use. The revised reserve copyright policy primarily applies to making copies of material to be placed in either the traditional or ERes collections. Video or print material owned by an instructor can be placed on reserve for the same or different classes, as before, as can all library-owned material.
Sharon Walters, Head of Access Services
August 4, 2009