Copyright Policy

Brandeis University is committed to full compliance with the laws governing the use of copyrighted material for academic purposes. Compliance with the copyright laws, including the doctrine of fair use, promotes progress in the arts and sciences and helps the University to fulfill its academic mission.

The purpose of the University’s library reserve system is to provide enrolled students with access to course materials in support of the University’s educational goals. Before making copies (whether print or electronic) of any copyrighted materials, the reserve librarian or his/her designee (the “Reserve Librarian”) will seek permission from copyright owners when required by law. In determining whether permission is required in any particular instance, the Reserve Librarian will take into account the fair use provisions of the Copyright Act of 1976, Section 107, which permit the fair use of copyrighted material for use in teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, and research.

The following guidelines are to be used by the Reserve Librarian in making decisions about the inclusion of material in print and electronic reserve. (The guidelines apply only to works protected by copyright. They do not apply to works in the public domain, such as works for which the copyright has expired, U.S. government works, and other works not subject to copyright.) Except as otherwise stated, the guidelines apply to both print and electronic reserves.

Scope and Purpose of Reserve Material

  1. Materials will be placed on reserve at the request of instructors solely for the educational, non-commercial use of students enrolled in the course for which the materials are placed on reserve.
  2. The Libraries will not place any material on reserve unless the University or the instructor possesses a lawfully obtained copy of the material.
  3. Materials copied for reserve use as a matter of fair use will generally be limited to brief works or excerpts from longer works. Entire books (except for brief pamphlets in appropriate instances) will not be copied for reserve use without prior permission.
  4. The duplication of consumable works (e.g., standardized tests, exercises, and workbooks) normally requires permission from the copyright owner.

Guidelines in Making Fair Use Determinations

The Reserve Librarian should refer to the following guidelines in determining whether a particular use is a “fair use.” The four numbered paragraphs below correspond to the four fair use factors set forth in the Copyright Act. In all cases, the Reserve Librarian will consider all of the fair use factors together, rather than relying on only one or two of the factors. The Reserve Librarian may also consult the University’s General Counsel for assistance in making fair use determinations.

  1. The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes. Because the Libraries will place materials on reserve only for non-commercial, educational purposes, the first fair use factor weighs in favor of fair use. However, all four factors must be balanced, and the non-profit, educational purpose of a use is not sufficient to make any particular use “fair.”
  2. The nature of the copyrighted work. Fair use is applied more readily to factual or scholarly works than to works that are predominantly expressive in nature (such as fiction and poetry). Therefore, the Reserve Librarian will generally regard the second factor as favoring fair use when the work in question is predominantly factual or scholarly as opposed to being predominantly expressive.
  3. The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole. Under the third fair use factor, the proportion of any work copied for reserve as a matter of fair use should be justifiable in light of the nature of the work and the purpose of the use. The following guidelines take into account the non-commercial, educational purpose of the reserves. The guidelines are not absolute and may be overridden by other considerations.
    • As a general matter, a single article from a journal issue or a single chapter from a book may be used as a matter of fair use.
    • As a general matter, if the reserve material constitutes more than 10% of a book or collective work (such as a journal issue), the Reserve Librarian will copy it for reserve use only if the other three factors on balance favor fair use, or if permission is obtained from the copyright owner.
    • As a general matter, if the reserve material constitutes more than 25% of a book or collective work (such as a journal issue), the Reserve Librarian will not copy the work for reserve use without first seeking permission from the copyright owner.
  4. The effect of the use upon the market for the copyrighted work. A use is more likely to be fair if it does not have a substantial negative impact on the market for a work. In evaluating the market impact of copying a work for reserve use, the Reserve Librarian will refer to the following guidelines.
  5. For monographs and book chapters, the Reserve Librarian will check Books In Print to determine whether the monograph or book is available for sale through normal channels. A work’s out-of-print status will generally be deemed to weigh in favor of fair use.
  6. For journal articles, the Reserve Librarian will consider the reasonable availability of alternatives to copying, such as reprints or electronic subscriptions, to weigh against fair use.
  7. The Reserve Librarian will consider whether the work is designated as a required reading or, on the other hand, an optional or recommended reading for the course for which it is placed on reserve. If the work is not required, this consideration will generally be deemed to weigh in favor of fair use.

Access and Storage

  1. The electronic reserve system permits simultaneous use by multiple authorized users on the Brandeis University domain. Access to electronic reserve materials will be limited by password or other means to ensure that only students enrolled in the course (and faculty and staff teaching the course) have access to the materials.
  2. Students will not be charged for access to the print or electronic reserve system, and no person at the university shall financially benefit from use of the reserves.
  3. Access to electronic reserve materials will be terminated at the end of the semester. The materials may be kept in electronic format for subsequent use, provided that the archives of such material are not publicly accessible. In cases in which material was copied for electronic reserve as a matter of fair use, the Reserve Librarian will make a new fair use determination before the material is placed on electronic reserve for a subsequent term.

Permissions, Notice, and Royalties

  1. If the Reserve Librarian determines that a particular use is outside the scope of fair use, the Libraries will request permission for reserve use from the copyright owner or its representative. If permission is denied, the Libraries will withdraw the item from reserve use.
  2. The Libraries will generally request permission to copy for reserve use any work contained in a coursepack that is for sale to students.
  3. The Libraries will attach to each item reproduced for reserve use an appropriate citation to the source of the work and, when it is reasonably possible to do so, a copyright notice.
  4. For print reserve materials, the Libraries will affix a notice which states that the material may be protected by copyright law and warns users against inappropriate distribution of the material.
  5. For electronic reserve materials, a notice similar to the following will be displayed on a preliminary or introductory screen: WARNING CONCERNING COPYRIGHT RESTRICTIONS: United States law (Title 17, United States Code) governs the use of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions, university libraries are permitted to furnish a reproduction to university students and faculty. These conditions require that the reproduction not be used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research. Other uses, including commercial use and any further electronic distribution of the material, may constitute copyright infringement.
  6. In cases in which a use is determined to be outside the scope of fair use, the Libraries will pay reasonable fees charged by the copyright owner.
  7. All letters of permission received and evidence of fees paid will be kept on file by the Reserve Librarian.