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Copyright Policy


The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or reproduction. One of these specific conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research." If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," that user may be liable for copyright infringement. Linfield College is legally obliged to pay attention to the copyright law. This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law.

Fair Use

"Fair Use" and the Library, section 107 of Title 17 of US Code

In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered include:

  • The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit education purposes.
  • The nature of the copyrighted work.
  • The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relationship to the work as a whole.
  • The effect of the use on the potential market of the work.

"While fair use is intended to apply to teaching, research, and other such activities, a crucial point is that educational purposes alone does not make a use fair." -Kenneth D. Crews, Prof. of Law and Library and Information Science Director, Copyright Management Center.

For more information about Fair Use:

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Interlibrary Loan


The McMinnville and Portland Campus Libraries comply with the American Library Association Reference and Adult Services Division's "International Lending: Principles and Guidelines for Procedure (1978)", and their "National Interlibrary Loan Code, 1980;" with the Oregon Library Association's Interlibrary Loan Code; and with the guidelines prepared by the National Commission on New Technological Uses of Copyrighted Works (CONTU) for the implementation of Sec. 108 [g] [2]. These guidelines, as abstracted by the Oregon University System (OUS), specify that:

No more than a total of six copies of an article or articles published in a periodical (as opposed to any given issue) may be requested within one calendar year by any borrowing library. The exception is any articles or articles made from any issue the publication of which is more than five years prior to the date when the request for copies is made. These same guidelines apply to copyrighted collections or copyrighted works (monographs.)

If requests exceed 5 articles from one journal title over the most recent 5 year period, then we try to retrieve the article through a variety of methods, for example, the Copyright Clearance Center. We usually obtain what a patron needs; sometimes, we cannot. We work towards success.

For more information on our Interlibrary Loan policy, contact Rich Schmidt or a Reference Librarian.

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Library Reserves

Reserves Excerpt from Linfield College: Copyright Handbook for McMinnville and Portland Campus Libraries*

The photocopying practices of an instructor should not have a significant detrimental impact on the market for the copyrighted work. (17 U.S.C. Sec. 107 .) To guard against this effect, you should restrict use of an item of photocopied material to one course and you should not repeatedly photocopy excerpts from one periodical or author without the permission of the copyright owner.

Library Reserve Uses:

At the request of a faculty member, a library may place on reserve excerpts from copyrighted works in its collection in accordance with guidelines similar to those governing formal classroom distribution for face to face teaching discussed above. The Libraries believe that these guidelines apply to the library reserve shelf to the extent that it functions as an extension of classroom readings or reflects an individual student's right to photocopy for her/his personal scholastic use under the doctrine of fair use. In general, faculty and librarians may photocopy materials for reserve room use for the convenience of students both in preparing class assignments and in pursuing informal educational activities which higher education requires, such as advanced independent study and research.

If the request calls for only one copy to be placed on reserve, an entire article, an entire chapter from a book, or an entire poem may be photocopied. Requests for multiple copies on reserve should meet the following guidelines:

1. The amount of material should be reasonable in relation to the total amount of material assigned for one term of a course taking into account the nature of the course, its subject matter and level (17 U.S.C. Sec. 107 [1] and [3]);

2. The number of copies should be reasonable in light of the number of students enrolled, the difficulty and timing of assignments, and the number of other courses which may assign the same material (17 U.S.C. Sec. 107 [1] and [3]);

3. The material should contain a notice of copyright (17 U.S.C. Sec. 401); and

4. The effect of photocopying the material should not be detrimental to the market for the work. (In general, the library should own at least one copy of the work.) (17 U.S.C. Sec. 107 [4].)

For example, a professor may place on reserve as a supplement to the course textbook a reasonable number of copies of articles from academic journals or chapters from trade books. A reasonable number of copies will in most instances be less than six, but factors such as the length or difficulty of the assignment, the number of enrolled students and the length of time allowed for completion of the assignment may permit more in unusual circumstances. The Oregon State System of Higher Education (OSSHE) Library Council suggests that "a reasonable formula for placing photocopies of copyrighted material on reserve permits the making of one photocopy to each ten students enrolled in a class."

In addition, a faculty member may also request that multiple copies of photocopied, copyrighted material be placed on the reserve shelf if there is insufficient time to obtain permission from the copyright owner. For example, a professor may place on reserve several photocopies of an entire article from a recent issue of the New York Times in lieu of distributing a copy to each member of the class. If you are in doubt as to whether a particular instance of photocopying is fair use, you should seek the publisher's permission. Most publishers will be cooperative and will waive any fee for reserve reading use.

Copying an Entire Copyrighted Work:

A library which wishes to make a single photocopy or sound recording copy of a published, copyrighted work for a user or to replace a copy or phonorecord in its collection which is damaged, deteriorating, lost, or stolen, must first make a reasonable effort to obtain a copy in its original form at a fair price (17 U.S.C. Sec. 108 [c] and [e]). Linfield College Libraries complies with American Library Association Resources and Technical Services Division guidelines in the interpretation of "reasonable effort" and "fair price."

Uses of Photocopied Material Requiring Permission:

1. Repetitive copying: The classroom or reserve use of photocopied materials in multiple courses or successive years will normally require advance permission from the owner of the copyright (17 U.S.C. Sec. 107 [3]).

2. Copying for profit: Faculty should not charge students more than the actual cost of photocopying the material (17 U.S.C. Sec. 107 [1]).

3. Consumable works: The duplication of works that are consumed in the classroom, such as standardized tests, exercises, and workbooks, normally requires permission from the copyright owner (17 U.S.C. Sec. 107 [4]).

4. Creation of anthologies as basic text material for a course: Creation of a collective work or anthology by photocopying a number of copyrighted articles and excerpts to be purchased and used together as the basic text for a course will in most instances require the permission of the copyright owners. Such photocopying is more likely to be considered as a substitute for purchase of a book and thus less likely to be deemed fair use (17 U.S.C. Sec. 107 ).

*Adopted by the Library Committee of the Faculty Assembly

Electronic Reserves

Digitized materials may be placed on electronic reserve in compliance with the Fair Use provisions of the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976.

Licensed electronic materials may be placed on electronic reserve according to the conditions of the license agreements Linfield College has in place (for instance, for electronic journal articles to which the library subscribes).

There will be no charge for access to materials on electronic reserve, however charges for printing from library or lab computers will still apply.


NOTE: The Library reserves the right to refuse to place on reserve any material which appears to violate the Fair Use principle of Copyright Law.

Go to: How to Get Permission

Go to: Reserves information for Linfield faculty and link to fill out a Reserve Request Form.

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Copyright Law and Placing Photocopied Items on Reserve:
Frequently Asked Questions

1. Must an item be owned by either the library or me if I want copies of it placed on reserve?
Yes, unless the text can not be obtained at a fair price.

2. How can I find out whether Nicholson Library already has an electronic copy of an article or book to which my students can have direct access?
Our experience shows that it is very likely the articles you wish to have copied for reserves are already available to students through our various online databases. Please contact a Reference Librarian to verify whether specific items you wish to place on reserve are already available.

3. May I have several photocopied chapter from a book or multiple articles from on journal placed on reserve without a permission letter?
The amount copied should be the smallest percentage of the item in question necessary to fulfill the educational purpose. For instance, up to two or three articles from the same issue of a journal or no more than 10 - 15% of a book may be reasonable. Beyond that, please seek permission from the copyright owner. The Copyright Clearance Center is a good starting point to find permissions: http://www.copyright.com

4. May I photocopy a variety of articles to substitute for the lack of a suitable text and place these on reserve?
No. Since this would seem to create an anthology, please seek permission from the copyright owners. For core readings, Linfield College Bookstore can assist with the process of creating course packs.

5. May I use photocopies as a substitute for the purchase of books, publishers' reprints, or periodicals to support the class?
No.

6. May I use photocopy workbooks, standardized tests, or other consumable works?
No.

7. May I place a photocopied item on reserve for more than one course?
No. However, we can cross reference titles in the reserve system so items can be used for both courses.

8. If I meet the above conditions, how many copies of a photocopied item may I place on reserve, without a permission letter?
Linfield's copyright policy allows one copy per ten students be placed on reserve. If you have permission, the number of copies allowed and the time constraints will be determined by the letter.

9. Do I need to write anything on the top of the photocopy?
Yes. Please provide bibliographic information: For books - Author, title, edition, city, publisher, date and page numbers; For articles - Author, title, source title, volume and issue number, date, and pages numbers.

Other Frequently Answered Questions about Copyright in Higher Education

1. What types of materials are free from copyright restraints?

a. Material for which you own the copyright (i.e., your own creations for which you have not signed copyright over to another party such as a publisher.)

b. If the material is licensed, the terms of the license override other considerations and may or may not provide for reproduction. Often applies to electronic materials.

c. Works published by the U.S. Government are copyright free except in some cases where a contractor has provided information.  In any format, a contractor may have copyright protection on portions of the publication.

d. In an educational setting, you may use works which fall under the Fair Use limitations on owner's exclusive rights.

e. Works which are in the public domain.

f. “Reproductions by libraries or archives for their users, for replacement, or for preservation” Section 108 of the U.S. Copyright Code.

2. How do I be sure an image I find online is safe to use without violating copyright law? If the image comes from a source licensed for use such as clip art purchased by the institution you may use it within the conditions of that license. Otherwise, obtaining permission from the creator of the image is necessary. Beware of sites which offer free images if you are not certain the individuals offering the images actually are the copyright holders or have actually received permission from the copyright holder. If in doubt, do not use the image. You may use images you create yourself in any way you wish, of course.

3. What is the TEACH Act and what are its copyright implications for the use of digital materials? The Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization Act (TEACH) was passed in 2002 in response to educational needs for distance education and online courses using digital materials. The intent of the Act is to provide Fair Use applications for instruction which does not take place face to face and which relies on the use of digitized media. For more information, please consult one or more of the following resources:

a. TEACH Toolkit from N. Carolina State University's Office of Legal Affairs.

b. Copyright Checklists

c. Teaching Online FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) from the North Carolina State University.

4. How do I get permission to use copyrighted materials?

a. For using articles and book chapters as course materials, use the Copyright Clearance Center.

b. Linfield DCE Faculty: contact the DCE Office for copyright clearance assistance.

c.  Linfield College Bookstore requires faculty to obtain copyright clearance for all course packs created for student purchase there.  The Copyright Clearance Center is recommended as the key resource for this process.  For more details, contact the Bookstore.  

d. For more, see tips for Obtaining Permissions gaining permission from copyright holders for various purposes in higher education from the Columbia University Libraries' Crash Course in Copyright:

For more information about Copyright in Higher Education


Other Linfield College copyright information online

Linfield College World Wide Web Policy

Office of Information Technology ITS Policies

Copyright Information Related to the Digital Commons@Linfield

Copyright Basics for Student Projects
The Fair Use of the work of others for educational purposes is interpreted differently for work shared within the confines of a class than for work published openly.

Copyright Beyond the Basics
Information concerning the fair use as well as sharing considerations for student and faculty work.

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Revised 03/15/11 JSC