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Use of Copyrighted Materials

The role of the Hope College Library is to enable teaching, learning and research through the use of library materials.

In compliance with copyright law, the library supports the rights of copyright holders as well as the rights of students and faculty to use copyrighted materials under certain exemptions in the laws including fair use, the first sale doctrine, the TEACH Act and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

The Hope College Library subscribes to the principles in the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and Research Libraries.

Questions can be directed to your Liaison Librarian.

Table of Contents


Library Physical Reserves

Please note: To mitigate the risk of spreading COVID-19, library reserves will not operate until further notice.

Library Physical Reserves provides access to supplementary and required learning materials including books, textbooks, DVDs and answer sets. There are several options for Lawfully Circulating Works via Print Reserves.

  1. Right of First Sale Doctrine for lawfully acquired library or instructor owned materials
  2. The instructor is the holder of the copyright
  3. The work is in the Public Domain
  4. The work is licensed (for example articles in library licensed databases)
  5. Fair Use
  6. Obtain permission from the rights holder

Note: Works that are out of print but not in the public domain are still under copyright and should be treated accordingly. Consider under "effect on the market" when determining fair use.

Fair Use

Perhaps the most critical limitation on the copyright holder's exclusive rights is the fair use exemption, codified in 17. U.S.C. §107. Fair use allows limited uses of portions (or sometimes all) of a copyrighted work without the need for prior permission. The fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that 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.

There are no clear-cut rules that state when a particular use might be a 'fair use.' Instead, the four fair use factors must be evaluated in the context of the specific facts of the proposed use.

Determining whether a particular use is fair requires weighing the four factors set forth in the statute:

  • Purpose and character of the use
  • Nature of the copyrighted work
  • Amount and substantiality of the amount used
  • Effect or potential effect on the market or potential market for the work

Interactive Fair Use Checklist 

Library Electronic Reserves or use in Course Management System (Moodle)

Electronic (e-reserves) provides short-term access to supplementary and required learning materials including electronic copies of articles, book chapters, lecture notes, practice tests and access to streaming copies of film and music.

In addition to the options for print reserves (the instructor is the rights-holder, the work is in the public domain, or the use is considered a fair use), providing access to a work licensed by the library or linking to works made freely available become additional options. See the library's guide to Creating Off Campus Links.

Library Media Reserves or use in Course Management Systems (Moodle)

Media Reserves provide short-term access to digital streaming copies of film and music that supplement or are required for courses. In addition to the options commonly used for print and electronic reserves (the instructor is the rights-holder, the work is in the public domain, or the use is considered a fair use), providing access to a work licensed by the library or linking to works made freely available be through licensed vendors such as Swank, Kanopy or Films on Demand may be possible.

It is important that instructors work with the library to make sure works are used in accordance with license terms. Often the terms of the license may be only for one semester or one year. The form to request access to a streaming video can be found here.

Linking

Generally, there is no copyright infringement when linking to works that are made freely available online (if lawfully posted) on sites such as CBS, PBS and YouTube. However, a lot of content on YouTube is not lawfully posted.

Fair Use

The same four factor evaluation applies to media. Since the purpose will most likely be educational, careful consideration should be given to the amount and substantiality of the amount used and the effect or potential effect on the market or potential market for the work.

The TEACH Act

The TEACH Act (passed in 2002) supplements the more familiar principles of copyright and can be used to support the transmission of performances and displays of copyrighted material as a part of online education.

The Teach Act allows:

  1. The performance of nondramatic literary or musical works
  2. The performance of reasonable and limited portions of any other work
  3. The display of works in an amount comparable to what is typically displayed in a live classroom session

The Teach Act does not allow:

  1. Sharing works that are produced primarily as a part of mediated instructional activities transmitted via digital networks
  2. Sharing of performances or displays that are not lawfully acquired
  3. Sharing works such as textbooks, course packs or other materials in any media which are typically purchased or acquired by students

Basic TEACH Act Checklist