Electronic Reserves Copyright Guidelines

When library staff are reviewing documents submitted for Electronic Reserves, they use a Fair Use checklist that considers the four factors of Fair Use as provided by Copyright Law (Title 17, Section 107):

  • Purpose of the Use
  • Nature of the Work
  • Amount of the Work
  • Effect on the Market for the Original

Some material may or may not have problems when placing them on Electronic Reserves. The first list of materials below are generally accepted provided they meet other submission criteria.

Course materials generally accepted for Electronic Reserves

Instructor-owned materials

  • Course syllabus
  • Lecture Notes
  • Problem sets/solutions
  • Sample exams

Material in the Public Domain

  • U.S. Government publications
  • Works published before 1923
  • Copyright holder has waived permission requirement

Limited portion of copyrighted works such as:

  • A proportionally small excerpt of a book or journal.
  • Portion used is peripheral or not significant to the entire work.
  • Only as much as necessary for the purpose.
  • Material for which copyright permission to scan and provide access has been granted.
  • Material that is judged to fall under the “fair use” provisions of the Copyright Law.

Course materials generally NOT accepted for Electronic Reserves

Works complete unto themselves that are not in the public domain

  • Books
  • Journals

Materials that qualify as course packs

  • Materials that are not proportionally small excerpts.
  • Materials that are extracted from the heart of the work.
  • Materials that are more than absolutely necessary for the purpose.
  • Copies of various works or excerpts that together or separate constitute an anthology, compilation or collective work
  • Materials extracted from works intended to be “consumable” in the course of study or teaching, such as workbooks, exercises, standardized tests and test booklets and answer sheets
  • Journal articles which have been included in a course pack students are expected to purchase
  • Student papers, without written permission from the author granting such permission and waiving privacy rights (FERPA – Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.)

Copyrighted material

Copyrighted material submitted for repeated use is subject to the approval of the copyright holder. If royalty fees charged for the use of copyrighted material are deemed to be excessive by the library, the material will not be made available electronically. These items will be made available in print format only at the Morris Library Help Center.