Staley Library Copyright Information

Wondering what your rights are when duplicating information for a class? How many copies of an article can be placed on reserve? Can you make a copy of a piece of music to perform? How is information on the Internet protected by copyright? Or is it?

We've assembled a collection sources that focus on copyright issues and will help to answer these questions.

Staley Library's Copyright Policy

General guidelines for library reserves

The copyright policies and guidelines for reserves are based on the fair-use standards of the Copyright Act, Section 107 (Title 17, U.S. Code). Section 107 states:

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 by 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:

  1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
  2. the nature of the copyrighted work;
  3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
  4. 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The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.

Thus, we ask that you abide by the following when placing items on reserve (whether electronic or print):

  • You may place a reasonable number of copies on reserve. While the guidelines aren't clear on just what constitutes a reasonable number, another way of expressing it would be that the instructor should use reasonable judgment in determining how many copies are needed to allow all students in his or her class sufficient opportunity to read the material. A good guideline to use is one copy per ten students enrolled in the course.
  • Each item must include complete citation information.
  • Each copy must contain a clear notice of copyright. The library will affix this notice.
  • If you are including a chapter from a book, also include a copy of the title and copyright pages.
  • For classroom or reserve use of copyrighted materials that falls outside the scope of fair use, you will need to be granted permission from the copyright holder. Ask at the circulation desk for forms to be used to seek permission.
  • Copying can not be used to create or replace anthologies or collections of works.

More information on library reserves.

Public performance rights for films

The library owns many videos and dvds. Most are purchased for in-classroom, library or home use only. All films in the library collection can be shown in a classroom as part of a course. In addition, some library films are purchased with limited educational public performance rights. These selected films may be screened by a public group, for educational purposes, when no admission is charged. Non-commercial events at schools, libraries, churches, civic and non-profit organizations are usually considered educational public performances. Currently the only library films with public performance rights are those produced by Berkeley Media, California Newsreel, Films for the Humanities & Sciences, New Day Films, Media Education Foundation, Schlossinger Media, Ambrose Video and a few selected titles from PBS.

Copyright Information Sources


  • United States Copyright Office: Information on copyright basics, applications for applying for copyright, and publications of the copyright office are available.
  • Copyright Law of the United States: Text of the actual Copyright Law of the United States, as contained in Title 17 of the U. S. Code.
  • Title 17: Copyright: Searchable text of the copyright law via the Cornell University School of Law.
  • Digital Millennium Copyright Act (from the UCLA Online Institute for Cyberspace Law and Policy) Introductory discussion, plus links to text of the act and other information on its implications.