The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted materials.
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 a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," that user may be liable for copyright infringement.
This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law.
This notice is posted in compliance with Title 37 C. F. R., Chapter II, Part 201.14
The full text of the copyright law can be found in the United States Code in the section entitled Title 17 - Copyrights. Copyright owners are assigned exclusive rights to their works, including the right to reproduce those works. The law defines several limits on exclusive rights that allow others to make copies of copyrighted works. Those engaged in teaching and research are granted certain reproduction rights in § 107. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use.
Libraries are authorized to photocopy materials from their own collections for their clientele under the provisions of § 108. Limitations on exclusive rights: Reproduction by libraries and archives. Under the provisions of section 108(d), University Libraries at Virginia Tech may photocopy a single article from a periodical or a chapter of a book and give the copy to a Virginia Tech student, faculty, or staff member who studies or works on the extended campus.
When obtaining photocopies of copyrighted works from other libraries through interlibrary loan, libraries must comply with the conditions defined in subsection g(2) of § 108. Limitations on exclusive rights: Reproduction by libraries and archives. The basic requirement is that University Libraries at Virginia Tech must not receive copies in "such aggregate quantities as to substitute for a subscription to or purchase of such work." Just how much copying would violate this provision is not defined in the law.
The copyright law does not provide a quantitative definition of how many photocopies from a journal can be received by a library for interlibrary loan purposes. The National Commission on New Technological Uses of Copyrighted Works in 1978 issued guidelines to help libraries comply with the copyright law. Virginia Tech's Interlibrary Loan Department complies with the CONTU Guidelines on Photocopying Under Interlibrary Loan Arrangements when obtaining your requested photocopy from another library.
For a given periodical title, within a given calendar year, we are allowed under the guidelines to obtain an institutional total of five (5) photocopies of articles published within the five years preceding the date of your request. For the sixth article and above we have several alternatives for filling your request. We can either
The only practical method of quickly obtaining a copy of a journal article is to obtain a photocopy from another library and pay a royalty to the copyright owner, which is usually the publisher of the journal. We usually make such payments through the Copyright Clearance Center. For those journals not registered with the Copyright Clearance Center, we try to obtain a photocopy through a commercial document supplier. Such suppliers have their own arrangements for paying royalties to copyright owners. The royalty payment is paid by University Libraries, as are all other costs associated with obtaining items for you through interlibrary loan.
If you would like to know more about copyright law and its interpretation, you may want to read information available through the U. S. Copyright Office or the Copyright Clearance Center's Copyright Basics Page.