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Library Course Reserves: Copyright and Course Reserves

Guide for Students and Faculty on how to use Library Reserves

Library Reserves Copyright Policy


Millsaps College Library will observe copyright law and will follow commonly accepted interpretations of it when placing copies of readings on reserve for classes. This policy affects photocopies and other reproductions only. 

Most academic libraries provide reserve readings under the fair use provisions of Section 107 of the Copyright Law which includes four factors to consider when copying material.

Section 107 of the United States Copyright Act of 1976.

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 educational 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 Library will consider these four factors when placing items on reserve.  We ask faculty to be conservative and careful when selecting reserve readings and to understand that we must comply with the law.


Although fair use ultimately depends on the specific facts surrounding each proposed use, the following guidelines are intended to provide direction to the Millsaps College faculty and Library staff.

  1. All materials placed on Reserves will be at the initiative of faculty for the non-commercial, educational usage of students.
  2. Whenever possible, materials to be copied for Reserves will be owned by the faculty submitting them or by the Library.
  3. Longer works, such as complete books, will not be copied for Reserves. The library will not place materials on Reserves without permission if the nature, scope, or extent of copying is judged by the library to exceed the reasonable limits of fair use.
  4. A copyright notice will appear on the first page of photocopied reserve material to indicate that materials may be covered by copyright law. Appropriate citations or attributions to their sources will be included.


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