Course Reserves & Copyright

The Library places materials on class reserve with the understanding that the course instructor has complied with  U.S. Copyright Law. The information below is provided to help you determine fair use and obtain copyright permission.

Reserve Policies

Items are added to the reserve collection under the following conditions:

  • A print version of copyrighted material to be scanned for eReserve has been lawfully acquired.
  • A print version of copyrighted material to be scanned for eReserve has been provided to the library.

Additionally,

The copyright law of the the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material.

Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of the specified conditions is that the photocopy reproduction is not to be “used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research.”

If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of “fair use,” that user may be liable for copyright infringement.

This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgement, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law.

  • Library staff scan material for placement in the eReserve system for one semester. All copyrighted materials are removed from the eReserve system at the end of each semester. The same material may not be used in subsequent semesters without the written permission of the publisher.
  • Materials on eReserve are accessible by faculty name or course number, and are available only to users on the USC network.
  • This Copyright Restriction Warning is attached to each copyrighted document in the eReserves system:
  • "The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted materials. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research".

Determining Fair Use

The U.S. Copyright Law includes a provision for ‘fair use’ that permits making copies of copyrighted material for classroom use.

In order to determine fair use the following four factors must be considered:

  • The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for non-profit educational purposes;
  • The nature of the copyrighted work;
  • The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole;
  • The effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

The fair use factors are only guidelines; no specific rules are provided.  Additional information including Fair Use Evaluators are included in in the Library’s Copyright guide.  If use of an item does not qualify under the fair use provision, permission must be obtained from the copyright holder.

Material in the Norris Medical Library Collection

Books: Books in the Library’s circulating collection may be added to the reserve collection for one semester without permission.

Book Chapter: A copy of a single chapter from a book in the Library’s collection may be added to the eReserves system for one semester without permission. Use of multiple chapters from one book requires permission.

Print Journal Article: A copy of a single article from a print journal in the Library’s collection may be added to the eReserves system for one semester without permission. Use of multiple articles from the same journal requires permission.

eJournal Article: Some eJournal providers’ licensing agreements allow articles to be added to eReserve systems without permission; others specifically require permission be obtained. 

Obtaining Permission

The Copyright Clearance Center contracts with many publishers to obtain permission for you. The CCC can also help you determine who holds the copyright, in case you need to contact the rightsholders directly. You should allow up to 10 weeks to process permission requests.

For additional information contact the Access Services office at (323) 442-1126 or medlib@usc.edu.