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Course Reserves: Copyright & Reserves

Copyright & Fair Use

"Copyright on Campus" by the Copyright Clearance Center

General Interpretations and Information Regarding Copyright

The Copyright Act of 1976 grants to copyright owners the exclusive right to reproduce, distribute, perform, and display their works. Any of the following uses without the express permission of the copyright holder constitutes an impermissible violation of the act, unless the use falls within one of the exceptions set forth in Title 17 U.S.C. et seq. The most commonly utilized exception governing permissible use are the "fair use" standards.

 Application of the fair use factors is inherently imprecise; all factors are interrelated and no one factor is entitled to inordinate weight. Consequently, "fair use" may differ from one work or situation to another.

General Interpretations of Fair Use Guidlines


1. An article, poem, essay or short story, whether or not from a collected work.

2. A chapter from a book. (It may be permissible to copy more than one chapter from a book if it has more than 15 chapters. If, however, the substantiality or the significance of the individual chapter(s) in relation to the whole is disproportionate, then these numerical limits may not be applicable.)


1. The copying is at the instance and inspiration of the individual teacher and,

2. The inspiration and the decision to use the photocopied material and the moment of its use for maximum teaching effectiveness are so close in time that it would be unreasonable to expect a timely reply to a request for permission.


1. Copied material may be placed on reserve for one course for no more than one semester.

2. Not more than one poem, article, short story, or essay may be copied from an individual author, not more than three from the same collective work (irrespective of author) or periodical volume during one class term. The limitation does not apply to current news periodicals, newspapers, and current news sections of other periodicals.

Photocopies Copyrights Materials: Information on Fair Use

Foley Center Library accepts photocopied copyrighted material for Reserve purposes according to fair use guidelines. Photocopying for educational use must be of a limited nature, determined by the brevity of the photocopied material, and the spontaneity and cumulative effect of its creation. Otherwise permission must be requested from the copyright holder. The Foley Center will assist in obtaining copyright permission as necessary.

1. Copying shall not be used to create or to replace anthologies, compilations, or collective works. Such replacement or substitution can occur whether copies of various works or excerpts therefrom are accumulated or reproduced and used separately.

2. There shall be no copying of or from works intended to be "consumable" in the course of study or of teaching. These include workbooks, exercises, standardized test booklets, answer sheets and similar consumable materials.

3. Copying shall not substitute for the purchase of books, publisher's reprints, or periodicals.

4. Continual copying of the same item by the same teacher from semester to semester or year-to-year shall not be permitted.

5. Each copy shall include a notice of copyright. The Foley Center staff will stamp the item with the notice of copyright: [NOTICE: THIS MATERIAL MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT LAW (Title 17 U.S. Code)].

6. The number of copies of each work shall not exceed the number of students enrolled in the course.

Examples of Fair Use: Permissible and Inappropriate

Examples of Permissible Use:

1. Material is chosen so closely to the start of class that it is unreasonable to expect a timely reply to a request for permission.
2. A single item, e.g., a book chapter or periodical article.
3. Material from recent newspapers or news periodicals.
4. Personally authored materials such as exams, course syllabi, or articles submitted for publication.
5. Material in the public domain, such as government documents, or for which the copyright has expired (usually more than 75 years old).
6. Material that states that photocopying is permitted.


Examples of Inappropriate Use:

1. A photocopy of a substantial portion of a book.
2. Repetitive use of the same photocopied reserve material for more than one semester (either consecutively or year-to-year).
3. Use of more than one article from one issue of a periodical other than a newspaper or news periodical.
4. Copying from materials intended to be "consumable" such as workbooks, standardized tests, etc.


REMEMBER: Educational use alone is not sufficient to make a use a fair one.