Copyright, Fair Use, and Exhibition


I. Butte College Library Copyright  Policies

A. Copyright Notice

If library staff determines that any request to place items on reserve may constitute copyright infringement, the material will not be placed on reserve. It will be returned to the instructor to allow the instructor time to obtain permission from the copyright holder.

B. Copyright Guidelines for Photocopied Reserve Materials

1. The following photocopied items may be placed on reserve:

-one book chapter; one article from a periodical issue;

-one short story, short essay or short poem from the same author or collective work;

-one illustration, graph or diagram from a book or periodical issue.

2. The materials copied shall be for one course and for one term only.

3. Multiple copies of a copied item are allowed at the rate of 1 copy per 20 students in class, up to 3 copies total, not to exceed 9 instances of such copying per semester, and for one semester only.

4. Any consumables such as workbooks, exercises, or standardized tests that are available for purchase cannot be placed on reserve.

C. Copyright Guidelines for Film, Video and Sound Recordings on Reserve

1. CDs and DVDs can be placed on reserve.

2. VHS tapes will not be accepted as the technology has become obsolete and is no longer supported by the Library.

3. Only the original copy of CD or DVD may be placed on reserve.

4. Burned CDs and DVDs will not be accepted unless the original video or recording was produced by the instructor or the instructor has obtained permission for reproduction from the copyright holder.

5. Other burned CDs and DVDs of copyrighted material will not be accepted and will be returned to the instructor.

D. Copyright Guidelines for TV Program Recordings on Reserve

1. Recorded television programs transmitted by network television and cable stations for general public may be placed on reserve.

2. The recording can be shown only in the first 10 consecutive school days after it is originally recorded from a broadcast.

3. The recording must be destroyed within 45 calendar days after the program was recorded.

4. The recording should be labeled with program title, recording date, destruction date, and name of the instructor.

5. If an instructor wants to keep a television program on reserve for a longer period, the instructor should obtain permission from the copyright holder or purchase a legal copy to be placed on reserve.

 II. What Is Copyright?

Circular 21: Reproduction of Copyrighted Works by Educators and Librarians (United States Copyright Office)

Copyright is a protection provided by the laws of the United States (title 17, U. S. Code) to the authors of "original works of authorship," including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works. Protection is available to both published and unpublished works.

U.S. copyright law grants copyright holders, such as publishers, writers and other types of creators, the exclusive right to reproduce, perform, distribute, translate and publicly display their original works. Unless your situation meets an exception outlined in the Copyright Act, you must get explicit permission from the copyright holder before you can lawfully re-use the work in any of the following ways:

  • Reproduce the work in copies or recordings;
  • Prepare derivative works based upon the work;
  • Distribute copies or recordings of the work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending;
  • Perform the work publicly, such as literary, musical, dramatic works, motion pictures and other audiovisual works;
  • Display the work publicly, in the case of literary, musical, and dramatic works, and pictorial, graphic, or sculptural art works, including the individual frames of a motion picture or other audiovisual work; andIn the case of sound recordings,* to perform the work publicly by means of a digital audio transmission (including P2P filesharing)

III. When Does Copyright Matter?

  • When you are using materials that you did not create or to which you do not own copyright
  • When you are using materials not covered by a licensing agreement
  • When you have a licensing agreement that specifies compliance with Fair Use

IV. Fair Use: Special Copyright Provisions for Academics

A. Exceptions for Academic Use

The Copyright Act contains specific exceptions for the use of copyright-protected materials by academic institutions, and allow certain exceptions to educators and libraries.

These provisions include:

B. Four factors of Fair Use:

Fair-use Statute Section 107 lists the following factors to be evaluated in determining whether a particular use of a copyrighted work is a permitted fair use:

(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes; Nonprofit and educational setting use is more likely to be considered fair use than in commercial or for-profit setting. However, be aware that not all educational uses are considered fair use.

(2) the nature of the copyrighted work to be used. Reproduction of factual or statistical materials is more likely to fall under fair use than collections of of highly creative, original works, including artwork, poetry or musical compositions. Reproduction of previously published works is more likely to fall under fair use than reproduction of previously unpublished works

(3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole. Reproducing smaller portions of a work is more likely to be fair use than reproducing large or essential portions

(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work. What effect would this use have on the market for the original or for permissions if the use were widespread?

C. Additional guides, resources and checklists for evaluating Fair Use compliance:

V. Sources for copyright-free and open license works

  • Creative Commons: "a nonprofit corporation dedicated to making it easier for people to share and build upon the work of others, consistent with the rules of copyright."
  • Creative Commons Search: Provides a search interface for Wikimedia Commons, Google Image, Flickr, and many other popular tools.
  • Firefox's search functions also include search options for Creative Commons attribution.
  • Google Advanced Search:  Under "Usage Rights" you can limit to results that are filtered for re-use, re-use with modifications, etc.
  • There are many other specific sites, such as the Internet Archive, Project Bartleby,  and others that include access to materials in the public domain.
  • Ask one of our librarians if you would like more information or help.

VI. Multimedia, audio and peer-to-peer filesharing