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Copyright: FAQs

Copyright FAQs

What constitutes permission?

Obtaining permission to use material can be a lengthy and complicated process, or a quick and painless one that only requires attribution be given to the author of the work in question.  Only the holder of the copyright for the work in question may grant permission for use.  Once the copyright holder is located, you should provide a written description of the nature and purpose of your intended use. 

You may obtain permission via the Copyright Clearance Center or by contacting the author or publisher.  Library staff members can assist you with this process.

Can I scan this book?

Copying or scanning a book or journal article is considered reproduction and is subject to copyright restrictions.  Apply Fair Use Guidelines to determine if the intended use is allowable. If you want the library to scan or copy materials for you, please take a look at the Course Reserve Policies for guidelines on the amount of material that may be placed on reserve.

Can I put an image on my website/in my presentation?

Images are also subject to rights protection.  In general, it is okay to use an image in a presentation that is to be delivered in class.  Be sure to provide the appropriate citation for the image and to acknowledge your source, the creator of the image and other relevant information.

Rights should be secured before you display an image in a published paper or presentation (for example in a journal or on a website).  To avoid copyright infringement and the possibility of legal issues, contact the image's original creator and explain your intended use.  Be sure to ask for written permission to use the image and provide credit to the creator in the manner they specify.

Can I use a song from my iTunes library?

A song purchased from iTunes does not give you the rights to use the song in any way you choose.  You have paid only to listen to the song on the device of your choosing, not to re-use, remix or otherwise edit the song.

What can I post on Moodle?

Any material that falls within the fair use guidelines may be posted on Moodle.  This includes excerpts from books, articles, audio recordings and video recordings.  Any material that is found in the Public Domain may be posted on Moodle.  The Library has developed a Copyright Policy for materials that are placed on reserve.  10% of a book or one article from a particular journal issue may be place on reserve.  After one semester use, the library will request permission to re-use materials and pay any copyright fees for this subsequent use.  Whenever possible, provide a link to an article in a library database.  The licensing contract of the databases most often allows for this type of use.  We also track statistics for our databases and maintain certain databases based upon usage, so linking to the material will insure that the library keeps materials in the library you are actively using.

In what ways can I use articles that I find in library databases?

  • Providing a link to an article in library reserves.
  • Posting a link to an article in Moodle
  • Printing a single copy of an article for individual research.
  • Saving a single copy of an article for individual research

The following uses are generally prohibited without express written permission from the copyright holder:

  • Printing the entire issue of a particular journal.
  • Posting a copy of a journal article on a website that is open to the public
  • Including an article in a course pack
  • Printing several copies of an article for distribution outside of the classroom.

If you have a question about a particular use for material found in library databases, contact a library staff member for assistance.

Can I copy a DVD, an entire book (or a large portion of it), CD or other resource?
In general, complete works should not be copied.  Fair use guidelines may be applied when:

  • Using a small portion of a work.
  • Keeping an individual copy for a short time.
  • Attempts to purchase the work are unsuccessful.
  • Access to a work is restricted to a specific class.