Copyright Policy

E&H Library supports and values the rights of intellectual property protection granted in copyright law.

Library Copyright Policies

The application of copyright policies to specific library services.

Course Reserves

The Library will attempt to ensure that the course (both physical and electronic) reserves align with Fair Use or Section 108. If this is not possible, the Library will seek to obtain copyright permission. Copyright permissions with significant costs may need to be covered by the department. The Library will refuse to manage any course materials that do not comply with copyright.

Items on reserve will be removed at the end of each semester. All items that will be reused in subsequent semesters will be reviewed, and if necessary, new permissions will be obtained.


The Library will follow copyright guidelines for the reproduction of materials during reference and research transactions. Each librarian is responsible for confirming that any reproduction created for the reference transaction honors Copyright and falls under Section 108 or Fair Use. Copies provided to a library user must be for the sole purpose of private study, scholarship, or research.

Interlibrary Loan

Section 108 provides allowances for the reproduction of portions of copyright material to be sent through another library for the sole purpose of private study, scholarship, or research.

  • Only one article/chapter from an issue/collection may be reproduced to send to another library.
  • Copyright law does not allow more than five articles from one journal title published within the last five years or more than one article per patron from one periodical issue published within the last five years.
  • Copyright notice must be included in all electronic files.
  • The amount requested cannot be a substitute for a subscription.
  • Any ILL requests the Library Staff determines are in violation of copyright laws will be canceled.

What is Copyright?

Copyright law (17 USC § 106) grants a collection of rights to the creators to protect their work for a limited time.

Copyright Law

Copyright law gives the copyright owner the rights to:

  • Reproduce the work
  • Create derivative works based on the original work
  • Distribute copies and make changes to the existing work
  • Perform literary, musical, dramatic, choreographic works publicly
  • Display literary, musical, dramatic, choreographic works publicly
  • Perform sound recordings digitally

Rights can be transferred or shared, or in their entirety or partially.

What is protected by copyright?

  • Literary works
  • Theatrical works: notation, scripts, music, recordings
  • Choreographic works: notation, recordings
  • Musical works: scores, recordings, words/lyrics
  • Software and computer programs
  • Works of Visual Art: 2 dimensional and 3 dimensional
  • Motion pictures and audiovisual works
  • Architecture

What is not protected by copyright?

  • Datasets, facts (graphs and charts are protected, but raw data is not)
  • Ideas, concepts, discoveries which have not been expressed in a physical form
  • Most works from the United States government
  • Items in the public domain.
  • Names, titles, rules of grammar

How long does copyright last?

If the work was created after January 1, 1978, it is protected for the life of the author and an additional 70 years. After this time, an item falls into the public domain. Currently, items created 96 years previously are generally in the public domain. Once items are in the public domain, these works are not protected by copyright, and the work can be used without seeking permission.

Penalties of Copyright Infringement

Copyright Infringement (17 USC § 501-513) is a violation of the rights of the copyright owner. Penalties for copyright infringement can include:

  • Actual damages for profits
  • $750-$30,000 per work infringed
  • Up to $150,000 per work for willful infringement
  • Legal and court costs

All Rights Reserved

The creator owns all rights to their original work from the time it is in a fixed form. Using the © or the expression all rights reserved is a formality, and is not needed to secure copyright for the work.

Creative Commons License

Using a creative commons license allows for the copyright owner to retain some rights while allowing others to use them in varying degrees according to the creator’s preference.

Fair Use

Fair Use (17 USC § 107) grants limited uses of copyrighted material that do not require receiving permission from the rights owner.

Applying Fair Use

There are four factors used to determine Fair Use:

  1. Purpose: How is the work being used?
    Educational, criticism, commentaries are favored more for Fair Use. Uses that are for personal use, or not-for-profit, are also still somewhat favored. Commercial use will most likely not be covered under Fair Use.
  2. Nature: Is the nature of the work creative or factual?
    Creative works are not likely to fall under Fair Use. Factual works are more likely to be covered under Fair Use.
  3. Amount and Sustainability: Is the amount used a small portion of the whole work? Is only the amount needed?
    Smaller amounts are more likely to be covered under Fair Use. For our purposes, 10% or one chapter is a good guideline. This small portion should not be the “heart” of the work,
  4. Effect on Market Value: Does the use negatively affect the market (current or future) for the work?
    This is the factor that is most considered when evaluating Fair Use. Anything that complies with Fair Use will not hurt the current or future market for the original work.

Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization Act (TEACH) Act

The TEACH Act (17 USC § 110) provides non-profit educational institutions to display and perform works under copyright protection for online course materials (materials provided electronically to students via LMS, email, or online file sharing).

For online course materials:

  • Only the students in that class will have access to those resources
  • The resources will be used under the supervision of the instructor
  • The resources are directly relevant to the course
  • The course is part of the institutional instructional activities
  • All resources must contain a notice that they are protected by copyright
  • There is technology in place that limits a student’s ability to distribute those resources
  • The resources are only available for the time frame that is appropriate to the context of the class
  • The only copy of a resource that is made is the copy needed to transmit for the class
  • The resources are within the boundaries (types and portions/quantities) permitted by the law
  • The resources are not copies known to be illegal, part of course packs, textbooks, or commercially available online instructional collections