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Course Reserves Copyright Guidelines

The purpose of the Library’s Course Reserves service is to support OU’s teaching and scholarship. The Library bases its course reserve decisions on U.S. Copyright law (Title 17 of the U.S. Code) and the fair use doctrine. Amounts of materials intended for course reserve are limited to those normally required as course assignments. Library staff reserve the right to refuse materials if, in their judgment, the requested materials and intended use would exceed fair use or otherwise constitute copyright infringement.

Under fair-use and library-related exemptions, the following content may be placed on course reserve:

  • Entire works or sections of works that are in the public domain or by the U.S. government.

  • Entire books, media, or scores in their original (hard copy) format, made available within the libraries. This includes legally acquired Library-owned, department-owned, or instructor-owned physical books, media, or scores, but does not include items obtained through interlibrary loan. The Library may be able to purchase titles for OU courses to place on reserve, within budgetary limits; please check with your department’s library liaison for more details.

  • Instructor’s notes, quizzes, tests, and other content created for courses, for which the instructor holds the copyrights.

  • Copyrighted content for which the instructor has obtained appropriate permission from the copyright owner.

  • Electronic content (e.g., e-books, articles, excerpts, etc.) owned or licensed by the Library, with OU-limited access provided through persistent links.

  • If electronic content is not owned or licensed by the Library, the Library will post scanned, electronic copies of copyrighted book chapters, excerpts, single journal articles, and other resources that meet a reasonable determination of fair use (see guidelines below), with restrictions as noted:
    • Content will be attributed properly.
    • Library will mark the content to indicate it is subject to copyright protection and should not be distributed to others outside of the class.
    • Content will be password-protected so that only students in the class can access it.
    • Content will remain available only until the end of a semester.


Created by Name / Updated on October 10, 2013 by Name

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