Reserve Copyright Policy

University of Wisconsin Oshkosh

Policy for Reserve Access to Published Copyrighted Materials


The library policy for the reserve reading services is derived from the fair use provisions of United States Copyright Act of 1976. Section 107 of the Copyright Act expressly permits the making of multiple copies for classroom use. Such educational copying is one of six examples of uses, which do not require the payment of a royalty or the permission of the copyright owners provided that the circumstances of the use are fair as assessed by the four factors in section 107 of the Copyright Act, the text of which is as follows:

Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified in that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship or research, is not an infringement of copyright.

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

  1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit education purposes;
  2. the nature of the copyrighted work;
  3. the 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.

The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors. (17 USCA 107, current through P.L. 106580, approved 12/29/00)

Polk Library’s collections as well as the collections of other University of Wisconsin libraries are purchased for the nonprofit educational use of students and faculty. All library materials are acquired with the understanding that there will be multiple uses of a limited number of copies. The library frequently pays a premium institutional subscription price for journals. This price is many times the individual subscription price, for the privilege of supporting multiple academic users. The purpose of the reserve system will be to supplement course readings and facilitate the making of multiple copies or classroom use by students. Considered within this context, UW Oshkosh and other UW System libraries in a manner that conforms to the plain language of the fair use provisions of the copyright law can develop reserve services.

An item will be removed from reserves if the copyright holder objects to its inclusion on reserves and refuses to grant permission for its use. Polk Library reserves the right to consult with the University of Wisconsin System Legal Counsel to determine whether the item can be considered for fair use.

Revised, August 2002