Copyright, Limitations, & Fair Use
Copyright at Denison
The goal of this section is to provide the Denison community with information, policies, and procedures on copyright compliance. It is designed for instructional purposes and offers a variety of methods by which you can educate yourself about copyright law. The information contained on this site is not meant as legal advice. The content was prepared to inform those in the academic community about copyright. If you are seeking legal or expert assistance, please seek the services of a competent legal professional. By working together, we can strive to ensure that we all remain copyright compliant here at Denison.
For more information on course reserve policies, please see Reserves: Information and Guidelines. For additional information, you may also view Duke University's informative illustrated comic, Bound By Law, focused on copyright & fair use.
Bill Kirkpatrick's flowchart on how to proceed with class readings [pdf]
Check out our new Copyright Podcasts
The Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified by 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." 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 service if, in its judgment, providing that service would involve violation of copyright law. For further information, please visit the U.S. Copyright Office.
- Copying may not be used to create or to replace or substitute for anthologies, compilations or collective works, whether copies of various works or excerpts therefrom are accumulated or reproduced and used separately.
- There may be no copying of or from works intended to be "consumable" in the course of studying or teaching, such as workbooks and exercise books.
- Copying may not substitute for the purchase of books, publishers' reprints, or periodicals.
- Only an individual professor of a course (NOT a department head, dean, etc.) may direct copying.
- An individual professor may NOT repeatedly copy an item from term to term.
- No charge may be made beyond the actual cost of photocopying.
Fair Use Guidelines
In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include:
- The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit 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 fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.