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Course Reserves

Course Reserves Copyright Guidelines

The library's course reserve service gives faculty the opportunity to supplement their required course materials. Please allow a minimum of 72 business hours for processing of course reserve requests.

You are encouraged to not use reserve readings as the only assigned materials for a course or to substitute them for an anthology. Also, remember not to use copying to create, replace, or substitute for a work. Fintel Library can only process reserve requests that do not  knowingly involve a violation of copyright law.

When you place a reading on Reserve the first time, Fintel Library presumes the reading meets the requirements of brevity, cumulative effect, and spontaneity. 

Brevity means your copies should not constitute a substantial portion of the total work. See specific examples under compliant items.

Cumulative effect means copies should not have a detrimental effect on the market. You should avoid:

  • copying an item for more than one course in the school.
  • copying more than one  work from the same author.
  • making more than three copies from the same collective work or periodical volume during one class term.

Normally, you need permission from the copyright owner to re-use an e-reserve reading or photocopy. For instance, re-using scanned or photocopied materials within 5 years of its original use requires obtaining permission. Provided adequate lead time (see "Course Reserves Instructions for Faculty") the library staff obtains permission and pays any fees for you.

When we cannot obtain copyright permission at a reasonable cost, the materials cannot be used for Course Reserves. However, you may: 

  • when possible,  refer students to an online, full-text copy in one of the Library's databases.
  • ask your library liaison to purchase the book for the  library. 
  • place personally owned materials (books, journals) on Reserve.

In general, for each reading used you may place one photocopy and one electronic (e-reserve) copy or one photocopy per 10 students on reserve.

  • Books - You may place the entire book on the Reserve shelf or a photocopy of a complete chapter, poem, story or essay from a collected work if it does not constitute a substantial portion of the total work. A photocopy should constitute less than 10% of the entire book.
  • CDs - You may place the original item, but no copies, on reserve.
  • Journals & Newspapers - You may place a photocopy of one article, poem, story or essay from a single issue per journal title on reserve.
  • Illustrations - You may place one chart, graph, diagram, cartoon or picture per book or periodical issue on reserve.
  • Public Domain works - You may reproduce works in the public domain without restriction. Works created before 1923 or published without a copyright notice from 1923 - 1977 are in the public domain. See also Resources on the Web- Compliance Tools. 
  •  Software - The Information Technology (IT) department must verify license rights before you place software on reserve.
  • DVDs, videotapes and off-air recordings- You may place the original item, but no copies, on Reserve. You may place off-air recordings on reserve if you have permission from the copyright holder or: 
  • the program, when broadcast, could be picked up by a non-cable television set (using "rabbit ear" antenna) at the time of recording. Programs from cable sources, such as HBO, A&E, etc., are not considered "off-air" and must be licensed.
  • the period of reserve does not exceed 10 "school days" past the recording date.

Examples of non-compliant items

  • Consumables or works that are consumed in the classroom, such as standardized tests, exercises, and workbooks. These normally require permission from the copyright owner because photocopies violate Fair Use
  • Coursepack copyright permissions are granted to a specific professor teaching a specific course at a particular institution and permission is not transferable to the library.
  • Non-circulating library items (reference books, most journals, bound periodicals) should not be placed on Reserve as doing so would be redundant.