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Copyright and eReserves

WHAT IS FAIR USE?

U.S. Code Title 17 provides legal definitions on reproducing, sharing, and other uses of copyrighted materials.  Section 107 of this law allows for the “fair use” of materials and allows that reproduction for “purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching ... , scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright.”

This does not mean that faculty, or the library, can just make everything available for free.  There are four factors which determine whether use of material is “fair” or not:

  1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
  2. the nature of the copyrighted work;
  3. 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.

WHAT QUALIFIES AS FAIR USE?

The Dominguez Hills library follows the guidelines established for e-reserves in 1996 at the Conference for Fair Use (CONFU).

Short items (30 pages or fewer):

  • A single article from a single issue of a journal.
  • A single poem, short story, or essay from a collection of the same.
  • A single chapter from a book.
  • A single illustration, chart, graph, or diagram from a work.

Longer items (longer than 30 pages):

  • An excerpt not to exceed 30 pages or 10% of the total work, whichever is smaller.

In addition to length limits, an item does not qualify for fair use if:

  • It is being used for more than one semester.
  • It is being used for multiple courses in the same semester.
  • The library or faculty member does not own a lawfully obtained copy.
  • The items placed on reserve make up a large proportion of the total assigned reading for the course.
  • Multiple copies of the item are requested.

WHAT IF MY ITEM DOES NOT QUALIFY?

If your item does not meet the Fair Use guidelines, it may still be possible to have it placed on eReserves.  In these cases, the library will attempt to obtain copyright clearance from the Copyright Clearance Center at no additional cost to you.

Please note that we may not be able to obtain copyright clearance for all items.  In these cases, the library will not be able to place your item on eReserves.

Submitting your item does not guarantee that we will be able to place it on reserves.  Please make sure you submit items well in advance of when they are needed in class to allow ample time for alternative solutions if we cannot get clearance.

ARE THERE ANY ALTERNATIVES TO ERESERVES?

If copyright fees are too high, you may wish to place the item on print reserves instead.  Please note that fair use guidelines do still apply to print reserves, but copyright clearance may be easier to obtain as print reserves usually have less of an impact.

If neither option is feasible, the university book store offers several “course packet” services which allow faculty to create custom reading lists for students.  Copyright guidelines still apply, but since students are charged for the packets clearance requests are less likely to be denied.
 
To learn more about creating a course packet through the university bookstore, please contact Angel Covarrubias at extension 3202, or via e-mail at acovarrubias@csudh.edu.

WHERE CAN I LEARN MORE ABOUT COPYRIGHT?

CSUDH copyright policy - http://www.csudh.edu/copyright/

Chancellor’s Office policy - http://calstate.edu/gc/Docs/Fair_Use.doc

U.S. Copyright Office - http://www.copyright.gov/