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Reserves Copyright Policy

UC San Diego Library Policy on Access to Published Copyrighted Materials for Course Reserves Services

UC San Diego Library collections are purchased by the university for the non-profit 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 copies. Libraries frequently pay a premium institutional subscription price for journals, which is many times the individual subscription price, for the privilege of supporting multiple academic users. The sole purpose of the course reserve system is to facilitate access to a copy needed for instructional use by students.

Instructors can follow guidelines set forth by the UC Copyright website to determine whether materials fall under fair use.  Multiple print or digital copies of articles, book chapters, or other works may be made for classroom use or discussion, provided that:

  • There is a clear connection between the work being copied and the instructor's pedagogical purpose - determined by instructor
  • The amount copied is tailored to include only what is appropriate for the instructor's specific educational goals - determined by instructor
  • The access to works distributed online is provided only for the duration of the course for which they are provided, and limited to students enrolled in a course and other appropriate individuals (e.g. teaching assistants for the course) - managed by the Library and ETS
  • Each copy includes full attribution in a form satisfactory to scholars in that field - managed by the Library
Other considerations: Instructors should not copy works intended to be "consumable" in the course of study or teaching. These include workbooks, exercises, standardized tests, test booklets, and answer sheets. Copying should not substitute for the purchase of books or periodicals.

Basis of the policy:  The UC San Diego Library policy on access to published copyrighted materials for Course Reserves is derived from the fair-use provisions of the United States Copyright Act of 1976. Section 107 of the Act expressly permits making multiple copies for classroom/educational use - one of six examples of uses that don’t require payment of a royalty or copyright owner permission, as long as the circumstances of the use are fair, as assessed by the four factors in Section 107, as follows:

  1. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair Use

Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 [Exclusive rights in copyrighted works] and 106A [Rights of certain authors to attribution and integrity], the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified in that section, for purposes such as 1) criticism, 2) comment, 3) news reporting, 4) teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), 5) scholarship or 6) research, is not an infringement of copyright.

In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use, the factors to be considered shall include:

  1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a 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 or value of the copyrighted work.