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Course Reserves: Copyright Info

Course Reserve Questions and Answers

What copyright law do we follow?
Title 17 USC, Section 107. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair Use.

Who is responsible for obtaining copyright permission?
Faculty are responsible for obtaining copyright permission for items they request to place on reserve 

Will the library provide interpretation of the copyright laws?
No we are not lawyers and so we cannot provide an interpretation for another person. 

What is Fair Use?
Fair Use is a concept embedded in U.S. law that recognizes that certain uses of copyright-protected works do not require permission from the copyright holder.

Electronic Reserves follows the four factors of Fair Use:

  • the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
  • the nature of the copyrighted work
  • the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
  • the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work 

What may be placed on course reserve without a written copyright permission for one semester ONLY?  

  • Scan 20% of a book
  • An article from a periodical, scholarly journal, or newspaper
  • A short story, short essay or short poem, whether published by itself or in a collective work.  A chart, graph, diagrams, drawing, cartoon, or picture from a book, periodical, scholarly journal, or newspaper.
  • If an item is available as electronic form streaming, media, audio, and text and the library’s license allows, a hyperlink to the text will be setup
  • Materials that are clearly owned and created by the person submitting the materials (copyright owner)
  • Materials registered in Creative commons with a license that allows use.
  • Media copied from off-air* (including cable) programs 45 day Limit*
  • Streamed media owned by library collection only under the condition the materials on this course website are only for the use of students enrolled in this course for purposes associated with this course and may not be retained or further disseminated.

Kastenmeier Guidelines for Off-Air Taping for Educational Purposes
What may NOT be digitized for course reserve without copyright permission? (Possible exceptions: materials that are out-of-print, difficult to locate, or not owned by library)

  • A copy of the entire book
  • More than one chapter of a single book (or more than 10%)
  • More than one article from a single periodical or newspaper issue
  • More than one selection from an anthology or collection
  • More than one chart, graph, diagrams, drawing, cartoon, or picture from a single book, periodical scholarly journal, or newspaper 
  • Inter-Library Loan materials
  • Media copied from commercial tapes or DVD

Examples of that materials are okay to use under the fair use doctrine including TEACH Act?  

  • Instructor’s personal copies of books, journals & media  
  • Links to material legally on the internet, including electronic database  
  • Instructor’s created materials including exams/quizzes, lecture notes, handouts, homework solutions, audio, video, slides, graphics or study guides can be digitized or place in hard copy or both  
  • University of Hawai’i at Manoa Library books & media    
  • Works within the public domain.

The TEACH Act authorizes us to digitize works for use in digital distance education, but only to the extent we are authorized to use those works in Section 110(2), and so long as they are not available digitally in a format free from technological protection.

Reserve materials not in compliance with copyright law will be removed from the reserve System

  • The library will not mirror or link to materials that are illegally posted on the web
  • The library staff maintains the right to refuse placement on reserves any materials it judges to be beyond the boundaries of fair use.
  • The library reserves the right to change the copyright policy as necessary


Under the guidelines established by the American Library Association’s Code of Ethics, Hamilton Library faculty and staff do not provide interpretations of copyright laws. This website is not a substitute for expert legal advice.

In accepting reproductions for reserve, the library assumes that the copy or copies have been made in compliance with fair use provisions.

The library assumes all submitted material is copyright compliant and reserves the right to not accept material that, in its judgment, violates copyright.

  • University of Hawaiʻi Copyright Guidelines, April 1992
    These guidelines seek to provide University personnel with guidance in complying with United States copyright law. They do not constitute legal advice, and they are not intended for private use. These Guidelines and the underlying law are subject to change.

  • TEACH Act:
    The materials on this course website are only for the use of students enrolled in this course for purposes associated with this course and may not be retained or further disseminated.

This guide should not be construed as a substitute for legal advice, nor is this resource comprehensive on the subject of copyright.


Please send us an e-mail if you have any questions or would like to know more about our services.

e-mail: Print/Electronic Reserves
e-mail: Media/Streaming Reserves

e-mail: Media for Class Showing

Phone: 808-956-7203