Copyright Compliance Guidelines

Title: Copyright Compliance Guidelines
Policy Owner: University Libraries, Access Services
Applies to: Faculty, Staff, Students
Campus Applicability: Storrs and Regional Campuses
Effective Date: July 13, 2007
For More Information, Contact Associate University Librarian for Academic Engagement
Contact Information: 860-486-2518
Official Website:

Instructors placing physical materials on Traditional Course Reserve (TCR), copies of physical materials on Electronic Course Reserve (ECR) or TCR, or posting materials directly to WebCT for the purpose of not-for-profit instructional support are responsible for being cognizant of and applying the copyright compliance guidelines observed by the University of Connecticut (UCL) Reserve Services.  These guidelines apply whether Reserve Services or the individual instructor is posting materials in WebCT.

UCL copyright compliance guidelines for Reserve Services are based on:

  • The Libraries’ interpretation of Section 107 Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair Use of Title 17 (Copyrights) of U.S. Code;
  • Section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law sets out four factors to be considered in determining whether or not a particular use is fair:
    1. The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
    2. The nature of the copyrighted work;
    3. Amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
    4. The effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work
  • Agreement on Guidelines for Classroom Copying in Not-For-Profit Educational Institutions with Respect to Books and Periodicals, a.k.a., Classroom Guidelines;
  • American Library Association Model Policy Concerning College and University Photocopying for Classroom, Research and Library Reserve Use;
  • Music Library Association Statement on the Digital Transmission of Electronic Reserves ;
  • The Digital Millennium Copyright Act

Guidelines for Reserve Services/WebCT Environments

What can I put on Reserve?

Entire physical works in their original format, e.g., books, journals, AV materials, may be put on TCR in the Library provided the University Libraries or the instructor owns a legal copy of the work.  Most government publications are in the public domain and may also be put on Reserve, whether or not owned by the University Libraries or the instructor.

Copies of portions of the above types of works may be placed on ECR, TCR, or posted by instructors to WebCT provided the University Libraries or the instructor owns a legal copy of the work and access is restricted to the instructor and students enrolled in the course for which the material is being used in a given semester.

Reserve Services has developed the following guidelines for the amount of a copied work to be placed on ECR/TCR or posted by instructors to WebCT:

  1. One article per journal issue;
  2. One chapter or 10% of a book;
  3. Other parts or whole works that do not constitute copyright infringement, e.g., government documents and class notes.
  • In all cases, the notice of copyright and the title page from the work must be posted.

The above amounts are estimates designed to safeguard the University and its individual members from legal action due to copyright infringement.  Exceptions to the above limits must take into consideration the four fair use factors.

What if the University Libraries or the instructor does not own a legal copy of a work?

The Libraries will purchase books that are required for Reserve.

The Libraries will obtain journal articles not owned by the University Libraries or the instructor and request permission for use.  If permission is granted and there are royalty fees, the Libraries will pay the royalty fees.  If permission is not granted, the material will be removed from Reserve and the instructor will be notified.  Permission must be requested for each semester the material is being used.

Written permission of the student author is required to place student papers on Reserve.

What is not permitted for Reserve?

Materials considered to be “consumable,” e.g., published workbooks, exercises, standardized tests, test booklets, answer sheets, and course packs are not put on Reserve.  The nature of this material is such that making copies available to many students is likely to affect the market value of the item and may be an infringement of copyright law.

Can materials in digital databases and full text journals leased by the Libraries be used in WebCT?

UCL does not own these materials, they are leased. UCL signs an official license agreement with each vendor, and each license contains language on the permitted use of the material.  Some of the licenses allow for use of the material for Reserve, some do not.

Instructors needing to use in WebCT products leased by the Libraries should consult with Reserve Services to determine whether there are restrictions on use for Reserve associated with a particular leased product.

Below are known leases that do allow Reserve use:

  • InfoTrac
  • ABI Inform

NOTE: If a license prohibits use of digital material for Reserve and the Libraries own the paper version, Reserve Services will scan the paper version and post it through ECR.


Can materials not owned/leased by the Libraries or the instructor and available on the Internet be used in WebCT?

While this issue is beyond the domain of Reserve Services, please be advised that if you choose to use such materials (i.e., other instructors’ web pages, commercial sites, etc.) in WebCT, you are responsible for obtaining any necessary permissions and paying any associated royalties.

Reserve Services contacts for permissions as outlined above:

Stephen Bustamante
Coordinator for Digital Reserves

Jo Ann Reynolds
Coordinator for Reserve Processing