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DU Guidelines on Use of Copyrighted Materials for Electronic Reserves/Course Pages

The guidelines on use of copyrighted materials for electronic reserves and course pages are generally derived from the fair use provisions of the United States Copyright Act of 1976 as amended. 17 USC Section 107 establishes that reproduction of copyrighted works for educational and research purposes does not constitute infringement if it conforms to four factors. The complete text of this section is as follows:

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 in 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The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.

The collections of the Drury University Library are purchased with the understanding that numerous students and researchers will use them. The library pays institutional subscription rates for most of its journals that considerably exceed individual subscription rates because the publishers recognize that multiple uses will be made of these materials. Library electronic reserves provide an orderly means of making limited library materials available to all students enrolled in a class as requested by an instructor.

The electronic copying and scanning of copyright-protected works for library reserve service are unsettled areas of the law which may be addressed by the Supreme Court or in future revisions of the copyright law. The Drury University Library will continually monitor legal developments, which may affect the fair use analysis of electronic reserve services to ensure that library services are in compliance with the letter and spirit of the United States Copyright Law.