Course Reserves & Copyright

The "fair use" provision of the copyright law allows for limited reproduction and distribution of published works without permission for such purposes as criticism, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research.

Permission to use copyrighted material

All materials put on reserve are subject to the provisions of Fair Use.

Generally, fair use allows journal articles and books to be placed on course reserves, including electronic course reserves, for two quarters or six months.

One copy for every 10-15 students in the class is the number recommended in the ALA Model Policy Concerning College and University Photocopying for Classroom, Research and Library Reserve Use (March 1982).

The Library will seek copyright permission and absorb the cost for those materials that are to be used that exceed the copyright fair use period of 6 months (two quarters with down time periods between quarters).

If the materials are to be placed on reserve for longer periods of time, the Kennedy Library reserves the right to charge copyright costs to the faculty member's academic department.

To comply with copyright law, the following guidelines are observed for placing materials on reserve:

Type of Materials Print Reserves Electronic Reserves
Books Yes Yes (Limited to book chapters that taken together, do not exceed 1000 words or 10% of the book excludes coursepacks.)
Required coursepacks Yes (One copy per 10-15 students in the class) N/A
Supplemental (not required) coursepacks Yes Yes
Journal Articles Yes Yes (Limit 3 from any one issue)
Instructors' original materials (syllabi, course notes, sample tests, exercises/problem sets, homework solutions, etc.) Yes Yes
Non-Print Collection (videos, dvd's, cd's, audiotapes, etc.) Yes N/A
Materials with copyright permission Yes Yes
Materials not subject to copyright (such as public domain items, out of copyright items, government documents, U.S. laws and treaties.) Yes Yes
Student papers (must have permission of student) Yes Yes
Links to online journal articles owned by the Library N/A Yes
Links to eBooks owned by the Library N/A Yes
Links to web pages (the Library will not be liable for the content linked to) N/A Yes


The Library cannot purchase coursepacks for course reserve. However, provided that such coursepacks are in compliance with copyright regulations, a professor may elect to place one copy of a coursepack on reserve as a "personal copy."

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