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Home Tutorials Copyright and Fair Use Copyright Guidelines for Faculty Course reserves, copyright, and fair use

Course reserves, copyright, and fair use

The following guidelines are used by the Libraries for making decisions about the inclusion of materials in print and electronic reserves.

Reserve materials basics

  • Materials are placed on reserve at the request of instructors for the educational, non-commercial use of students enrolled in the instructor’s course.
  • The Libraries will only place materials on reserve that have been legally obtained by the University of the instructor – this does not include items obtained through Interlibrary Loan.
  • The duplication of consumable works (e.g. standardized tests, exercises, and workbooks) usually requires permission from the copyright holder.
  • No more than 10% of a book can be put on electronic reserve or 2 articles per journal issue that are not available through the Libraries’ online databases.


  • The electronic reserve system permits simultaneous use by multiple authorized users. Access to electronic reserves is limited by password to ensure that only students enrolled in the course have access to materials.
  • Students are not charged for access to course reserves and no one at the University may financially benefit from use of reserves.
  • Students will only have access to the materials placed on reserve during the semester they are taking the course.
  • For materials that have been copied to comply with fair use, the Reserves Supervisor will make a new fair use determination each semester the material is placed on reserve.

Permissions, notices, and royalties

  • If the Reserves Supervisor determines that a particular use is outside the scope of fair use, the instructor will be notified. The instructor is responsible for requesting permission from the copyright owner. If permission is denied, the Libraries will withdraw the item from reserve use.
  • If the copyright owner charges fees for the use of materials, the instructor will pay the fee – not the Libraries.
  • The Libraries will include correct citation information for reserve materials and, when possible, a copyright notice.
  • All letters of permission received and evidence of fees paid will be kept on file by the Reserves Supervisor.