Reserves Copyright Policy


The Columbia University Libraries's policy for electronic reserves has been developed in compliance with the United States Copyright Act of 1976. Section 107 allows the making of multiple copies for classroom use provided that the circumstances of the use are fair according to the four factors in section 107 of the Copyright Act, the text of which follows:

Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 106, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use in copies, phonorecords or by any other means specified by the section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is fair use the factors to be considered shall include:

  1. The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of 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; and
  4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for and value of the copyrighted work.

General Procedures

  1. The Libraries follow the principles of Fair Use when placing materials on reserve.
  2. All use of materials placed on electronic reserves will be at the initiative of faculty solely for the non-commercial, educational use of students.
  3. Materials to be copied or scanned for electronic reserves will be in legal possession by the library or the faculty member (by purchase, license, fair use, etc.) or some other unit of the University.
  4. Longer works, such as complete books or substantial portions of works, will not be copied for electronic reserve service without obtaining copyright permission.
  5. There will be no charge for access. The charge for copies made by students will be limited to the nominal cost of photocopies or laser prints.
  6. Copyright notice will appear on screen in the online reserve system and on copies made of reserve readings to indicate that materials may be covered by copyright law. Any copyright notice on the original material must be included. Appropriate citations and attributions to source must be included.
  7. Access will be limited to the instructors and students registered for the course and will be available via the course reserve system only.
  8. Electronic files will be removed from the reserve system when they are no longer used for reserve services.