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Course Reserves: Copyright Resources

Course reserves information for students and faculty

Copyright Information for Faculty

When selecting course reserve materials for students, US copyright law does need to be followed. 

Rest Easy!

  • If a reserve item is not a reproduction or copy and is owned by either the institution or the professor, permission from the copyright holder is not required to place that item on reserve.
    • Books, CDs, and DVDs are perfectly acceptable.
  • If a reserve item is a digital item that the university has proper license to use, you do not need to seek permission if you are using it within the parameters of the license.
    • Electronic books, articles, music, and movies are acceptable.
    • You can link directly to these resources in Canvas! If you need help finding the right links, feel free to contact the library staff!

Take Care!

If you reproduce an item or part of an item (ex: a chapter), you do need to judge whether that reproduction is a "fair use" of the material for either criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research.

When judging if a reproduction is "fair use," four factors need to be evaluated. 

  • Purpose and character of use
  • Nature of the copyright protected work
  • The amount and substantiality of the portion used
  • The effect of the use upon the potential market

For more information on the "four factors," and for guidelines on evaluating them, please see the "Copyright Resources" links.

Public Domain / Creative Commons

According to US Copyright Law, eventually creative works are release to "public domain" and become available for free unlimited use. Many creators also release their work with "Creative Commons" licenses that preemptively release an item for defined use and re-use. Here are some resources that can help with these concepts.

A Video Overview of Fair Use

Copyright Resources

Interactive Guides for Evaluating Fair Use