Faculty are responsible for complying with copyright law for their reserve materials. Items that fall under fair use as well as those that are not covered by copyright, as explained below, may be placed on reserve without obtaining copyright permission or paying copyright royalties. The library will not place any items on either print or electronic reserve that it knows are not in compliance with copyright law.
The collections of the Oberlin College Library are purchased for the nonprofit educational use of students and faculty. All library materials are acquired with the understanding that there will be multiple uses of a limited number of puchased copies. Libraries frequently pay a premium institutional subscription price for journals that is many times the individual subscription price for the purpose of supporting multiple academic users.
The United States Copyright Act of 1976 (§107) expressly permits the making of multiple copies for classroom use. Such classroom copying is one of the specific examples of uses that do not require the payment of a royalty or the permission of the copyright owners provided that the circumstances of the use are fair as assessed by four factors:
Oberlin College Library reserves services are used solely for non-profit educational purposes. Copies may be made for reserve without securing copyright permission if the copying is related directly to the educational objectives of a specific course and if the copyrighted material is limited to brief works, or brief excerpts from longer works. Examples include a single chapter from a book, a single article from a journal, or unrelated news articles.
Many materials, such as government documents and older publications, are in the public domain and not protected by copyright. Items in both of these categories may be photocopied for reserve without permission. Refer to Digital Copyright Slider (by the American Library Association) for details regarding older publications.
Faculty must obtain permission or pay appropriate royalty fees in order to place the following types of materials on either print reserve or ERes:
The electronic scanning of copyright-protected works for library reserve services is an unsettled area of the law which may be addressed in future revisions of the copyright law or through adjudication. Oberlin College will monitor legal developments which may affect the fair use analysis of electronic reserve services to ensure that library services are in compliance with the letter and spirit of the United States Copyright Law.
Further information on the copyright law as it pertains to fair use, seeking permissions, and the placement of items on reserve is available in the Main Reserve Room or from the Art, Science, and Conservatory reserve staff. Please contact the main reserve supervisor at 775-5036 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any further questions.