The Library makes library-owned materials available as eReserves under the provisions of §107 of the Copyright Act of 1976 (fair use). Note that the library will consider requests to purchase materials for eReserves, depending on the availability of funding.

To ensure protection of rights of both copyright holders and the fair use rights available to the academic community, the following restrictions and practices apply to all library eReserve material:

  • The Library staff may scan copyrighted materials for placement on eReserve, in the spirit of fair use, without obtaining copyright permission so long as they do not exceed the guidelines listed below.

    • One chapter from a book
    • One poem, short story, play, or essay from a collected work
    • For a work without chapters or articles, a short excerpt not to exceed 10% of a work
  • Articles that are available in the Library’s electronic databases will not be uploaded as PDFs; instead, the library will provide a link to the article in your Canvas course site.

  • Materials are placed in Canvas for the use of instructors and students registered for the course, during the semester of registration only.

  • A copyright notice and original source information will be provided for each work.

  • Faculty are encouraged to review posted materials and make updates as appropriate from semester to semester, based on guidance provided by the Center for Media and Social Impact.

  • Additionally, the CSU Fair Use Evaluation Page, along with the following considerations of fair use factors, may help you determine whether fair use applies to your e-reserves request(s).

    • Purpose and character of the use - nonprofit educational uses, like research, teaching, and scholarship are generally favored under fair use analysis; the Library’s e-reserves policy allows instructors to provide limited portions of copyrighted material to enrich their curriculums with a unique perspective or argument not found in the course materials purchased or licensed by students
    • Nature of the copyrighted work – using material from primarily factual works is more likely to be considered fair use than using material from highly creative works
    • Amount and substantiality of the portion used - using small portions from a copyrighted work is more likely to be considered fair use than using a larger portion of the work; there should be a clear connection between the instructor’s pedagogical purpose and the amount of materials used; for an example of how one court has analyzed the four fair use factors for e-reserves, see these excerpts from the Georgia State case (Cambridge Univ. Press v. Becker, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 35134 (2020)
    • Effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work - uses that do not affect the market for the copyrighted work are more likely to be considered fair.

Additional Information Regarding the Use of Scanned Materials in Teaching:

To maximize your ability to use materials in your online course, choose those with few or no copyright restrictions:

  • Public Domain: The public domain contains works that are no longer protected by copyright and those that were never protected by copyright – you may use these works without any restrictions. Works published before 1925 and works of the U.S. government are in the public domain. Read more about the public domain.
  • Open Access: Open access materials are free of some or all restrictions on their use, as long as you provide appropriate attribution to the creator of the work. When you use open access materials, you need to check that your particular use is allowed – if so, no license fees or permission requests are necessary. Read more about open access and Creative Commons.
  • Linkable: If a work is freely available on the Internet, but you do not have permission to download it, you can link to it instead.

To use copyrighted materials that do not fall into the above categories, you may consider the following:

  • Fair Use: Fair use permits the limited use of copyrighted material without permission from the rights holders. See fair use information above.

  • Permission: If you need to use materials that do not fall into any of the above categories, you can request permission from the copyright holder. While permission is often granted for academic uses, the permissions process can be slow, and there is no guarantee that permission will be granted. If permission is granted, a license fee may be required. Read more about requesting permission.

Back to Policies

Back to Top ↑