Print and A/V Copyright Guidelines

Copyright Guidelines

Materials placed on Course Reserve are subject to the University of California Guidelines on Copyright, as well as Title 17 of the United States Code (commonly referred to as the U.S. copyright law). As specifically stated in section 107 of this law, reproduction of a copyrighted work for teaching -- including the production of multiple copies for classroom use -- is not an infringement of the copyright as long as the particular case constitutes "fair use."

In order to determine fair use, the following four factors must be considered:

  1. The purpose and the 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 the substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole;
  4. and the effect of the use upon the potential market for or the value of the copyrighted work.

As these regulations are not further explicated in the text of the law, the Library follows the specific guidelines contained in the "Agreement on Guidelines for Classroom Copying in Not-For-Profit Educational Institutions with Respect to Books and Periodicals" (Ad Hoc Committee on Copyright Law Revision, Author-Publisher Group, March 19, 1976).

Under these guidelines, multiple copies are considered acceptable for classroom or discussion use if the tests for "brevity, spontaneity and cumulative effect" are met and if each copy carries a notice of copyright.

Brevity is defined as either a complete article, story, or essay of less than 2,500 words or an excerpt from any prose work of not more than 1,000 words or 10% of the work, whichever is less; but a minimum of 500 words is allowed in all circumstances.

To meet the test of spontaneity the copying must be done at the request of the teacher, and the decision to use the copyrighted work must be so close to the time needed that it would be unreasonable to expect a timely reply to a request for permission to copy the material.

To meet the cumulative effect test:

  • the material copied must be for only one course in the school;
  • not more than one article, essay, or two excerpts may be copied at the same time from the same collective work or periodical volume during one class term;
  • there shall be not more than nine instances of multiple copying for one course during a given term.

The following is specifically prohibited by these guidelines:

  • copying used to create, replace, or substitute for anthologies, compilations, or collective works;
  • copying of "consumable" materials (i.e., workbooks, exercises and standardized tests);
  • copying used to substitute for the purchase of books, periodicals or publishers reprints;
  • copying directed by "higher authority" (i.e., Chancellor of the University);
  • repeated copying of the same item for the same instructor from term to term.

Should the reproduction of a particular item that you wish to place on reserve be prohibited by the above standards, it is possible to arrange for copyright clearance for its use. The Academic Licensing and Permissions Service of the Copyright Clearance Center provides an automated copyright permissions service.