|Alden Library Course Reserve|
and Copyright FAQ
What are course reserves?
The QCC Library staff work with faculty to make supplementary materials available for student use through course reserves. Materials that are needed by many students over a short period of time for class assignments and papers are good candidates for course reserves. Commercially produced books, magazines, audio-visual materials or official reprints owned by the library or the individual faculty member may be placed on course reserves so that all the students in the course have access to them. Materials owned by other libraries or rental companies (i.e. video stores) cannot be accepted for placement on reserve.
Photocopied materials from books or magazines or taped programs from television or other sources must fall under the fair use guidelines or be accompanied by the copyright holder’s permission in order to be placed on reserve. The following information is intended to give faculty at QCC an overview of what is legally possible when placing copies on course reserve. While it seems logical that everything used in an educational setting would be considered “fair use,” it is the grayest area of the copyright law. It is open to interpretation and there are provisions that clearly indicate certain materials do not fall under fair use. If there is any doubt to the legality of any material presented for course reserves, the library reserves the right to ask faculty to obtain a legal copy or permission first. The full text of the copyright law can be found at: http://lcweb.loc.gov/copyright/title17/.
Title 17, Section 107 of the U.S. Code, the Copyright Act gives four factors to consider in determining if material is covered under “fair use” and does not need to have permission granted by the copyright holder.
Sec. 107. - Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use
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 -
Faculty members are allowed to make copies, not to exceed the number of students in the class, for classroom distribution and use. Course reserves in the library are considered an extension of classroom use. However, under guidelines established by the American Library Association, faculty are asked to provide no more than six copies of any item for reserve. Generally, one copy for every 5-10 students has proven to be adequate. Most uses of copied materials placed on course reserves are considered to be for nonprofit educational use. The nature of the work and amount copied will help determine if the material falls under fair use. Brevity and spontaneity are measurements in determining if the material falls under fair use guidelines. The library staff can assist faculty in determining if individual materials fall under fair use.
Items that do not fall under fair use provisions of the US copyright Act include:
A very helpful website that explains all aspects of copyright law is by the American Association of Law Libraries: http://www.aallnet.org/about/policy_fair.asp
It is the responsibility of the faculty member wishing to use a photocopy of a work to obtain permission from the copyright holder (usually the publisher or author) if that work does not meet the fair use guidelines. Processing requests for permission requires time and will vary from publisher to publisher. It can take as little as one month and as much as three months or more. In some cases the publisher may assess a fee to process or grant permission. Faculty are asked to get the necessary funding from their department.
The address of most publishers is contained in the work. Look in the back of the title page of a book or the table of contents pages of a journal for publisher information. If the mailing address cannot be found, the library has sources in the Reference collection such as the Literary Marketplace, which may help in locating the addresses. The publisher will need the following information:
The granting of permission must be in writing and submitted to the libray with the reserve request form and item.
Questions? Ask Denise Cross, Technical Services and Systems Librarian, at ext. 4480 or email@example.com
George I. Alden Library, Quinsigamond Community College, 670 West Boylston St., Worcester, MA 01606 (508) 854-4366
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