Photocopies, Copyright, & Library Reserves

Last Update: April 13, 2004

The following is a brief outline of copyright law and guidelines for placing photocopies on reserve.

  1. You may:
    1. Copy only a portion of the following copyrighted materials to place in Reserve:
      1. Chapter of a book
      2. Article from a magazine or newspaper, short story or essay (2500 words maximum)
      3. Complete poem if under 250 words, or excerpts from a longer poem, not to exceed 250 words
    2. Make multiple copies IF:
      1. It is "inspirational" (i.e. not enough time to expect a timely reply to a request for permission) AND
      2. The copying is for one course only AND
      3. A maximum of five (5) copies per item is made AND
      4. There are no more than nine (9) instances of "inspirational" copying in one school semester AND
      5. The original copyright notice appears on all copies of the work
      6. You have written for permission to copy when the copying is NOT spontaneous
        1. You may use the material until you have an answer
        2. If the answer is "NO," then all copies MUST be destroyed at that time
        3. If copy permission is granted, you may have further criteria to meet (such as a charge from the publisher) and must do so
      7. Copying is made at a campus copy center (use of a for-profit copy center violates the copyright law)
  2. You may not:
    1. Copy to create or substitute for anthologies, compilations, or collective works (photocopies of copyrighted materials cannot be used in place of a course textbook)
    2. Copy an entire work
    3. Copy a work if the library does not have the original as part of its collection
    4. Use the same material for succeeding semesters, unless permission is secured from the copyright holder; all copied materials coming under the legal limits of "fair use" will be returned to the instructor at the end of the semester.

Out of print does NOT give permission to photocopy, but may justify limited "fair use" copying.

The Library requires faculty members to certify that photocopied material placed on reserve is covered under the "fair use" provisions of the law, or that permission has been obtained from the copyright owner to copy the materials. Verification of permission to copy must be supplied and a copy will be kept in reserve along with the request to place the item on reserve (see Reserve Request Form)

For more information about copyright, visit the U.S. Copyright Office.