Reserve Copyright Guidelines

This article has been prepared by library staff to provide faculty with basic information about copyright compliance regarding the use of copies for traditional reserve and ERes, the electronic reserve module. Our policy ensures that copies made and/or placed on reserve are allowable by law: through fair use provisions, licensing agreements or the permission of the copyright holder.

Fair Use Guidelines

Without permission, the following is permitted: One periodical article per issue, one chapter from a book, a complete short story or poem, or up to 10% of a complete work.

Before being placed on reserve, copies must display a citation* to the complete work from which they are taken (supplied by the professor) and a copyright notice (supplied by the library).

Items cannot be used for more than one class simultaneously or subsequently, i.e. one-time use only.

* Bibliographic Citations Must Include:
  • Journals: title, volume with number or issue, the date, and page numbers.
  • Books: authors/editor, title, publisher, the publication date, and page numbers.
You Don't Need Copyright Permission For:
  • Public Domain materials
  • Federal and some State documents
  • Any item over 80 years old
You Need Copyright Permission For:
  • Repetitive copying -- the classroom or reserve use of photocopied materials in multiple courses or successive years.
  • Consumable works. The duplication of works that are consumed in the classroom, such as standardized tests, exercises, and workbook.
  • Creation of Anthologies as basic text material for a course. Creation of a collective work or Anthology by photocopying a number of copyrighted articles and excerpts to be purchased and used together as the basic text for the course. Such photocopying is most likely to be considered a substitute for purchase of a book and thus less likely to be deemed fair use.

To Obtain Copyright Permission, follow these guidelines:

Communicate complete and accurate information to the library so they can contact the copyright owner. If instructors want to acquire copyright permission, they can do so by writing a letter and including the title, author and or editor, and the edition of the materials. You should also tell them the exact materials that you want to use along with the amount, page numbers, chapters, a photocopy of the material, if possible, and the number of copies you are going to make. You then need to tell them what the material is going to be used for (classroom, newsletter, etc.), whether or not the material is going to be sold, and type of reprint (photocopy, offset, or typeset).

The library will pay permission for copyright fees up to $20 per article or chapter. This policy is based on USC Title 17, Agreement on Guidelines for Classroom Copying in Not-for-Profit Educational Institution and Model Policy Concerning College and University Photocopying for Classroom, Research and Library Reserve Use.

Contact Information
Reserve Unit