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Copyright Information: Tools for Instructors

Copyright Permission Service

The Library will obtain clearance for your use of copyrighted materials that are available in the Copyright Clearance Center (CCC), but please be aware that cost limitations do apply ($150 per class per semester).  For more information, please visit the Copyright Permission Service page.

Exceptions for Instructors eTool

This tool covers 17 U.S. Code Section 110(1), the “face to face teaching” exception and Section 110(2), the TEACH Act. These sections provide for the performance or display of copyrighted material in the classroom or for its use in an analogous fashion in online or hybrid courses (TEACH). These sections and this tool do not cover the use of any content that would not normally be viewed in the classroom — e.g. the creation of coursepacks or electronic reserves.

Obtaining Permission When the Library Cannot

Should the library be unable to obtain clearance for the use of copyrighted materials (either because they are unavailable in the Copyright Clearance Center or because the cost exceeds the $150 limitation per class), then the instructor is responsible for obtaining permission. A generic copyright permission request letter is available at our reserves page. Often, you can find the publisher's contact information on the page in a journal or book containing the copyright notice or at the publisher's website. Resources for finding publisher and author addresses are linked to below.

Sample Copyright Letter

This is one example of a copyright letter to be sent to the publisher for an item which needs permission from the copyright holder in order to be placed on reserve or e-reserve at the library.

Fair Use Checklist

Educational use of copyrighted material is not automatically fair use. Fair use requires that four factors be considered:  the purpose of the use, the nature of the publication, the amount and substantiality of the whole, and the effect on the market. The checklist below considers all four factors and can help you to make a thorough fair use evaluation.

Digital Copyright Slider

Determine if a work is in the public domain based on its first publication date.

Section 108 Spinner

Find out what your library can do for you regarding reproductions of copyright protected works.

Copyright Renewal Database

Search copyright renewal records for books published in the U. S. from 1923 to 1963.