Copyright Guidelines for Course Reserves

The UCI Library copyright guidelines for course reserves, including electronic reserves, is based on the Copyright Act of 1976, especially the principle of fair use and the reproduction of copyrighted works by educators and librarians(United States Code, Title 17, Sections 107 and 108.)The Library’s Copyright Guidelines for Electronic Reserves balance instructional needs with best practices in terms of copyright compliance.

Electronic Reserves
Multimedia Reserves
Background on Guidelines

Overview of What Materials Can be Placed on Electronic Reserves

The UCI Library will place the following materials on electronic reserve if:

  • The UCI Library has a current license for access to digital versions of the copyrighted material. In that case, the citation and the persistent/stable URL for the electronic version of the material will be added to electronic Reserves to provide direct access to the requested material.

  • Copyrighted material for electronic reserves that has been acquired legally or will be purchased by the Library or instructor.
  • Copyrighted material for which permission has been received from the copyright holder to place the material on electronic Reserves.
  • Works done by a student or another faculty or staff member which are accompanied by a signed permission form (pdf). 

Guidelines for the Amount of Materials to Be Placed on Electronic Reserves 

For the use of a copyrighted work, a determination of fair use must be made. When determining fair use, all four factors are considered and no one factor is more important than another. Not all educational uses are “fair uses.” Each use of a copyrighted work needs to be evaluated individually as there are no clear-cut and unambiguous rules of fair use. Therefore, each request for Electronic Reserves is considered individually. In general, the following guidelines are applied to requests:
  • Materials for which digital versions are licensed to UCI.
  • Single articles or chapters
  • Several charts, graphs or illustrations; or other small parts of a work
  • A small part of the materials required for the course
  • Requests for materials in excess of the above Guidelines or which have been used frequently and repeatedly will be referred back to the instructor to seek permission and to make arrangement for the payment of  royalties for the use of the copyrighted work. The Library does not pay for royalities. For help with this process, refer to Obtaining Copyright Permissions.
Materials which will not be accepted for Electronic Reserves:
  • Consumables, such as standardized tests and work booklets.
  • Entire books or entire journal issues in printed format.
  • Course Packs from UCI Duplication Depot.

Additional Guidelines

On the first or cover page for each copy of an article, lecture notes, overheads, student papers, etc:
  • Provide complete citations for formally published sources 
  • Provide adequate identifying information for informal source material.
  • Provide a copyright notice, if on the original source.
Copyrighted materials on reserve are accessible by faculty name and course number. User authentication via UCInetID and password limits access to the material on reserve to UCI students, faculty and staff. There will be no charge for access to electronic reserve materials; the charge for student printing of electronic reserve materials will be the same as for all other library printing. The electronic Reserves material is available for use only during the academic session in which the course is given.

Disposition of Digitized Reserve Materials 

At the end of each academic session, all copyrighted material on the electronic Reserves will be destroyed unless permission for repeat use has been obtained from the copyright owner.

Multimedia Reserves

By submitting a Reserve Request, users of the University Libraries' Reserve System agree that:

  • Materials submitted for Reserve do not violate the U.S. copyright laws.
  • University Libraries will not replace lost or damaged personal copies.
  • Materials are submitted to Reserve only for the term(s) in which the class is taught.

Use of materials should be consistent both with the University's instructional and research requirements and with the intent of the Federal Guidelines for Off-Air Recording of Broadcast Programming for Educational Purposes.  (see below)

Videos, Off-Air Recordings and Multimedia

Media items owned by the UC Irvine Libraries may be placed on reserve for your students.   If the library does not own the material requested, a purchase request will be forwarded to the appropriate subject librarian.  Personal copies of mulitmedia resources may be placed on reserve only if they are legally acquired copies.  Programs taped “off-air” (from TV) can be kept on reserve only for a limited time. All non-Library material dropped off in Reserves must be privately purchased, original recordings. Duplications will not be accepted for Reserve. Personally-owned means any media item owned by the faculty member or the department.

Videos and DVDs owned by the University, including reserves, may be viewed by students, faculty, and staff at workstations or in small group rooms in Ayala Science Library. Faculty members may also checkout videos and DVDs for personal viewing. Videos or DVDs which are to be shown to a larger audience as part of a special program, lecture series, etc. require permission from the copyright owner for public performance rights.  Materials cannot be borrowed from the MRC to be placed on reserves in another location or to be streamed at another campus.

Students and faculty may incorporate the works of others into a multimedia work when producing their own educational multimedia projects for a specific course or as teaching tools in support of curriculum-based instruction activities. Freely available multimedia works and items that have the appropriate Creative Commons license can be placed on reserves as long as the materials do not violate the U.S. copyright laws.  Permission from the copyright owner(s) needs to be attained by the faculty, staff or student whose needs go beyond placing items on reserves.

Background Documents for the Development of Copyright Guidelines 

The UCI Library copyright guidelines for course reserves, including electronic reserves, are based on the Copyright Act of 1976, especially the principle of fair use and the reproduction of copyrighted works by educators and librarians(United States Code, Title 17, Sections 107 and 108.)They are based also on a number of the guidelines in the American Library Association’s Model Policy Concerning College and University Photocopying for Classroom, Research and Library Reserve Use (Chicago: ALA, 1982) and those included in the 1996 Fair Use Guidelines for Electronic Reserve Systems developed, but not formally adopted, by participants in the Conference on Fair Use (CONFU).

For further information about copyright, consult:

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