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Copyright and Reserve materials

To protect the university, the Libraries must make every effort to verify copyright compliance. This includes obtaining an authorized signature on reserve forms and checking the submitted materials for multiple articles or chapters from the same work. For further information on copyright, visit our Reserve copyright guidelines page.

We must have a signature on reserve request forms signifying your compliance with copyright law.

Books (library-owned or personal copies) and photocopied articles or chapters

The guidelines described below apply to all University Libraries' Reserve systems and are in compliance with US Code, Title 17. Material submitted which violates any of these regulations will NOT knowingly be made available by the library. Instructors will be notified upon discovery of copyright violations and will result in delayed access to class materials through University Libraries. Instructors should not place materials on Reserve unless the instructor, the library, or another unit of the university possesses a lawfully obtained copy. The total amount of material on Reserve for a class should be a small proportion of the total assigned reading for that class when invoking fair use. Materials are available only to the VPI & SU community and all are expected to adhere to these copyright and fair use guidelines.

Guidelines Summary

Books
Only one (1) chapter from a book may be placed on reserve unless the instructor received the copyright holder's written permission prior to submitting materials to Reserve. This applies to edited collections of readings and essays because each reading is considered a chapter.
Journals and newspapers
Only one (1) article from an issue of one journal may be placed on Reserve unless the instructor received the copyright holder's written permission prior to submitting materials to reserve. Newspapers are treated the same as journals.
Multiple copies
Only one (1) copy of photocopied material is allowed for every 20 students enrolled in a class or any fraction thereof, with a maximum of 9 copies. The photocopy should contain the copyright statement.
US Government publications
Most federal government publications are in the public domain, i.e., they are not copyrighted, allowing unlimited use and reproduction. State and local government publications are probably copyrighted.
Consumables
These materials are not appropriate for reserve because one of the tenets of fair use is that such use not effect the market value. Consumables include workbooks, exercises, standardized tests and test booklets, answer sheets, etc. Consumables will not be placed on reserve.
Coursepacks
Custom published anthologies prepared for sale through local copy centers and bookstores are not appropriate for reserve because on of the tenets of fair use is that such use not effect the market value. Coursepacks will not be placed on reserve.
Duration and display of copyright
When faculty submit copyrighted material to reserve they should preserve the author's name, title of the work, and copyright statement, if there is one. If any photocopied material is to remain on reserve for more than one semester, the faculty member must obtain the copyright holders' written permission.

Media materials (library-owned or personal copies)

A balance must exist between the rights of the producers and distributors of the works which we collect and disseminate and the privileges of ourselves and our patrons who benefit from their display. We understand that if the owners of audiovisual works are denied their legal right to actual and potential revenues that may be derived from their works, the net effect will be a decline in the production of audiovisual materials, and we consider infractions of copyright law to be equivalent to acts of theft.

  • Off-air recordings that departments own and have been retained longer than the 45 days free-use period are considered illegal.
  • The Library can not put illegal off-air recordings on reserve.
  • The Library can not make duplicate copies of illegal off-air recordings.
  • The Library can not alter off-air programs. Excerpts of programs can be used in class provided the recorded program is not altered from its original content.
  • The Library can not duplicate copyrighted tapes.
  • Some library-owned videocassettes have public performance rights; many, however, do not. Those that are labeled For home use only may be used in a face-to-face teaching situation.
  • Groups or clubs may not use For home use only videos in a public performance setting. They must rent the videos from sources that grant public performance rights.
  • Off-air recordings may be used once by individual instructors in the course of relevant teaching activities, and repeated only once when instructional reinforcement is necessary, in classrooms and similar places devoted to instruction within a single building, cluster or campus, as well as in the homes of students receiving formalized home instruction, during the first 10 consecutive school days in the 45 calendar day retention period only for instructor-evaluator purposes, i.e., to determine whether or not to include broadcast program in the teaching curriculum, and may not be used in the institution for student exhibition or any other non-evaluative purpose without authorization.

Title 17 of the U. S. Code addresses copyright issues, including Fair Use for Educational Purposes.

By submitting a Reserve Request, users of the University Libraries' Reserve System agree that:

  • Materials submitted to Reserve do not violate the U.S. copyright laws.
  • University Libraries will not replace lost or damaged personal copies.
  • Materials are submitted to Reserve only for the semester(s) in which the class is taught.

Copyright quick facts

Faculty signatures

The faculty member responsible for the course must sign the Reserve request form, which says all materials placed on reserve for the course comply with the copyright guidelines. A signature is required before items can be processed.

Graduate/teaching assistants signatures

Graduate/teaching assistants must have their faculty advisor for the course sign the Reserve request form before it can be processed. If you are not listed as a professor, assistant professor, associate professor, or instructor in the undergraduate or graduate catalog, you must have the faculty advisor's signature.

Photocopies of book chapters on reserve & copyright law

Only one chapter from a textbook may be placed on reserve at a time. Copies of multiple chapters on reserve concurrently is a violation of copyright law. If a professor submits multiple chapters of a text, the professor will be contacted via e-mail or phone. If Reserve does not hear from the instructor within 5 days, the materials in violation of copyright will be returned by campus mail.

Photocopies of articles on reserve & copyright law

Only one article from the same journal/magazine may be placed on reserve at a time, copies of multiple articles from the same journal placed on reserve concurrently is a violation of copyright law. If a professor submits multiple articles in violation, the professor will be contacted via e-mail or phone. If Reserve does not hear from the instructor within 5 days, the materials in violation of copyright will be returned by campus mail.

Multiple copies and maximum number of copies allowed

Multiple copies of the same article or chapter is permissable. Professors may place one (1) copy of an item on reserve for every 20 students. (EX: 100 students= 5 copies). There is a maximum limit of 9 copies allowed.

Reserve loan periods

There are 5 loan periods available; 2 hour library use only, 2 hour (may leave the library), 2 day loan (may leave the library), 7 day loan (may leave the library), and 3 hour Media library use only. If no loan period is selected on the Reserve request form, the default loan period will be 2 hour library use only.