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Copyright Guide: Faculty Compliance Guide

2020 Copyright Guide

Placing Materials on Reserves

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The Rohrbach library honors requests from faculty to place course related items on reserve that are in compliance with US Copyright Law.

Safeguard Against Copyright Infringement

Electronic Reserves

The library has taken the following precautions against copyright infringement:

  • Materials are accessible through the library’s web site and are password protected.
  • Files are stored on a campus server.
  • Materials placed on e-reserves are kept for one semester.
  • The library will not scan more than 10% of any book for course reserve.

Copying for Classroom Use

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Copying of any copyrighted materials for student learning and research use without written permission may occur in the following instances:

Single copying for teachers

Single copies may be made of any of the following by or for teachers at their individual request for scholarly research or use in teaching or preparation to teach a class:

  • One chapter from a book;
  • An article from a periodical, journal, or newspaper;
  • A short story, short essay, or short poem, whether or not from a collective work;
  • A chart, graph, diagram, drawing, cartoon, or picture from a book,periodical, or newspaper.

Multiple copies for student learning use

Multiple copies (not to exceed more than one copy per student in a course) may be made by or for the teacher giving the course for student learning use or discussion; provided that the following three criteria are met:

  • The copying meets the tests of brevity and spontaneity (as defined below).
  • The copying meets the cumulative effect test (as defined below).
  • Each copy includes a notice of copyright. An example is "this material may be protected by Copyright law (title 17, US Code)."

Copying Computer Software

Computer software is tangible material and can be copyrighted. The Doctrine of Fair Use applies to computer software.

Permissible uses of copyrighted software owned by or licensed to the University or its faculty:

  • When copying the form and using it on a computer's memory.
  • When making one backup or archival copy.
  • Making adaptations in order to use a particular machine.
  • By lending it.
  • Selling it, in which case the backup or archival copy must be destroyed.

Prohibited uses of copyrighted software:

  • When copies are made for gifts or sales.
  • When copying a computer program purchased for the use at the University in order to use it at home.
  • When copying a computer program purchased for use in one department or school for use in another department or school. A site license should be negotiated to allow multiple uses on campus.

Obtaining Permission

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Steps to obtain permission

  1. Determine if permission is needed for the work you want to use.
  2. Identify the copyright holder or agent. 
  3. Send written requests for permission to use (view Sample Letter - Word download, courtesy of the Copyright Crash Course, University of Texas Libraries). Remember to give yourself ample lead time, as the process for obtaining permissions can take months. Decide if you are willing to pay a licensing fee/royalty.
  4. If the copyright holder can't be located or is unresponsive (or if you are unwilling to pay a license fee), be prepared to use a limited amount that qualifies for fair use, or use alternative material.

For more information, please visit the Copyright Clearance Center's Obtaining Permission page. 

Definitions

Brevity: Either a complete article, story or essay of less than 2,500 words, (usually varies 3-8 pages depending on size of page and type) or an excerpt from any prose work of not more than 1,000 words or 10 percent of the work, whichever is greater.

Spontaneity: The copying is at the instance and inspiration of the individual teacher, and the inspiration and decision to use the work.The moment of its use for maximum teaching effectiveness are so close in time that it would be unreasonable to expect a timely reply to a request for permission.

Cumulative effect: Copying of the material is for only one course in the school in which the copies are made.