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Library Reserves & Electronic Reserves

The University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries comply with the rights and restrictions provided by the Copyright Law for the provision of reserves and electronic reserves services. The following policies and statements address the copyright issues related to library reserves:


Policy for Electronic Reserve Access to Copyright-Protected Materials
The libraries’ policies for providing access to copyright-protected materials through its electronic reserve service is derived from the fair use provisions of United States Copyright Act of 1976 (Title 17 of the United States Code). Section 107 of the Copyright Act expressly permits the fair use of copyrighted materials for teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, and research. Such educational copying does not require the payment of a royalty or the permission of the copyright owners, provided that the circumstances of the use are fair use as determined by a consideration of four factors specified in section 107.


Electronic Reserve Service – Fair Use Determinations
Staff accepting materials for inclusion in the electronic reserve service should consider the four fair use factors to determine if a closer review of the materials is necessary before including the materials in the electronic reserve service. These factors are stated in Section 107 of the Copyright Act (Title 17 of the United States Code). It should be noted that no single factor will determine whether or not a particular use is fair use. Rather, fair use is determined by balancing these factors and considering them in relation to each other.


Applying Fair Use in the Development of Electronic Reserves Systems
A statement reviewed and endorsed by the Association of Research Libraries, the Association of College & Research Libraries of the American Library Association, the American Association of Law Libraries, the Special Libraries Association, and the Medical Library Association. See also the Music Library Association Statement on the Digital Transmission of Audio Reserves.


Responsible Use of Licensed Electronic Resources
Most use of digital products including electronic journals, databases, and proprietary web sites is governed by federal copyright law, state contract law, or licensing agreements.  Licensing agreements are generally more restrictive than federal copyright law regarding downloading and fair use.