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Reserves Policies and Materials Guide: Copyright Information

Copyright Information

Copyright Information for Reserves


Traditional Paper Reserves

Materials placed on traditional reserve are available to students in paper form at the institution's library. Your librarian can place purchased materials on reserve without obtaining copyright permission. However, making multiple copies of these materials and placing those copies on reserve does require copyright permission, in most cases.

While the Copyright Act does not specifically address library reserves, standards do exist for paper-based reserves. These standards are based on the Copyright Act's fair use provision. When evaluating copyright requirements for library reserves weigh the fair use factors as they apply to your particular situation.

The American Library Association (ALA) has endorsed the following standards for sharing copyrighted material through paper-based reserves:

  1. The amount of material should be reasonable in relation to the total amount of material assigned for one term of a course, taking into account the nature of the course, its subject matter and level. See 17 U.S.C. § 107(1) and (3).
  2. The number of copies should be reasonable in light of the number of students enrolled, the difficulty and timing of assignments, and the number of other courses which may assign the same materials. See 17 U.S.C. § 107(1) and (3).
  3. The material should contain a notice of copyright. See 17 U.S.C. § 401.
  4. The effect of photocopying the material should not be detrimental to the market for the work. (In general, the library should own at least one copy of the work.) See 17 U.S.C. § 107(4).

Using Content: Library Reserves (Traditional Paper Reserves), Copyright Clearance Center, accessed 08/31/2017.