2012 Copyright Guidelines for Classroom Scanning and Delivery of Books

1.      Understanding Copyright in Course Reserves

All classroom materials are provided to students within a password-protected course environment for research and classroom instruction only.  Copyright law forbids redistribution of scanned course materials unless permission from the copyright holder has been obtained, the work is out of copyright, or a careful fair use analysis has been undertaken.  Faculty members are personally responsible under University policy for respecting copyright, including their delivery of materials to students through course reserves.

 2.      Guidance on Use of Books in Course Reserves – Baseline Standards

Recent case law (see Cambridge University Press v. Becker, a.k.a. the “Georgia State e-reserves case”) has provided the first direct judicial guidance on digitization and delivery of portions of books via course reserves to students at non-profit educational institutions.  This case establishes the following amounts as a baseline for scanning and delivery of non-fiction books on the basis of fair use:

  • No more than one chapter for a work with chapters, OR
  • No more than 10% of a work without chapters
  • In any given course
  • In any given semester

In following the new guidelines, faculty should always carefully consider the educational need for the requested material to support teaching and learning.  This assessment of educational need is intended to reduce the amount of gratuitous or unnecessary material copied and delivered to students without permission and the payment of fees. You should only request scanning and delivery of material you consider essential for your students’ learning.

3.      Works of Fiction

Please note that this new case does not establish standards for the use of works of fiction in course reserves. The amounts given above should be understood as the maximum that should be copied from an individual book or volume of fiction. If anything, works of fiction are considered even more highly protected in copyright and they are theoretically subject to even greater restrictions on copying without permission.  Please review the resource materials at http://copyright.columbia.edu/copyright/fair-use/fair-use-checklist/ and the Fair Use Checklist posted at http://copyright.columbia.edu/copyright/files/2009/10/fairusechecklist.pdf before you request digitization of fiction works.

4.      Individualized Determinations – Exceeding the Baseline

If you believe that your students need access to more than 10% or a single chapter of a given book in your course, a number of options are available:

  • If students will need to read a substantial portion of the book, you should investigate whether the work in question can be purchased by them individually.
  • Alternatively, if portions of the work can be licensed through the publisher or the Copyright Clearance Center, you can ask UVA Printing and Copying Services to obtain rights to produce a print course pack for direct purchase by your students.  For more information on course packs: http://www.virginia.edu/uvaprint/copy_coursepacks.html
  • If the work is unavailable for licensing or purchase in the amounts you need, there may be a strong basis under principles of fair use for delivery of additional material to your students through course reserves.  The Library will work with faculty to evaluate these availability issues and examine specific copyright concerns on a case-by-case basis.

Updated October, 2012

MSWord version of this policy