Reserves - copyright

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Copyright and Course Reserves

The Library complies with copyright law (U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, 90 Stat 2541). When copying materials for reserve, the library follows provisions of the "fair use" section (Section 107) and considers the factors laid out in that section:

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

As part of a fair use analysis, the Libraries may decline to place multiple articles from a single journal issue, multiple chapters from a single book or excessive portions of any media on electronic reserve.

Instructors are responsible for obtaining permission of the copyright holder for materials that exceed fair use. Please note that out of stock or out of print does not mean the work is unprotected. Fair use tests apply to such materials unless they are in the public domain. Instructors who scan and mount their own electronic readings should include a copyright statement at the beginning of each protected document. The library uses the text below:

Warning concerning copyright restrictions

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproduction of copyrighted material.

Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research. If electronic transmission of reserve materials is used for purposes in excess of what constitutes "fair use," that user may be liable for copyright infringement.

For additional information about copyright please the Penn Libraries' Copyright Resources page at

Due to the complexities of copyright law and inconsistencies in interpretation, we invite faculty to speak with Erin Sharwell (215-898-9767 or about copyright issues.