Copyright Guidelines Related to Course Reserves

NOTE: See Appendix A  below for Federal Copyright Law & Fair Use Guidelines


  1. Submitted items should include the source of the item.
  2. Only items which the instructor or the library has lawfully acquired or licensed may become part of the course reserve system.
  3. Only a small portion of any copyrighted work (i.e., a chapter from a book, one article from an issue of a journal, several charts, graphs or illustrations, or other small parts of a work) may be copied for reserve without the permission of the copyright owner.
  4. At the end of each academic year, access to copyrighted electronic files will be suppressed and copyrighted print items will be returned to the originating instructor.
  5. Items will only be placed on reserve at the request of the course instructor. Course reserve items are intended solely for non-commercial, educational use.
  6. An OCC network account and password is required in order to view items in the electronic course reserve system.
  7. Neither excerpts from nor will an entire assigned course packet be made available electronically without the permission of the copyright owner. A physical copy of the course packet can be placed on in-library reserve.

There are alternatives to electronic reserve that you may wish to consider:

  • You can make the required readings available in course packets (contact the bookstore (Bookstore) for more information about course packet creation). Course packets can also be placed on in-library reserve.
  • The complete physical work can be placed on in-library reserve.
  • Library staff would be happy to explore alternative resources with you that do not require permission.

Appendix A - Copyright Law & Fair Use Guidelines

The OCC Coulter Library's guidelines on copying for course reserve reading services come from the fair use provisions of the copyright law of the United States as found in Section 107 of Title 17 of the United States Code. Section 107 expressly permits the making of multiple copies for classroom use under certain circumstances. Such educational copying is one of the six illustrative examples of acceptable fair use given in the section. The text of Section 107 is:

Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified in that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include--

  • 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 copyrighted work as a whole; and the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.

The Library reserves the right to refuse to place on course reserve any item that it feels may violate these copyright guidelines.

Questions?  Call Dennis Thoryk at 498-2128 or email [email protected].

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