Skip to Main Content

Faculty Services

Copyright Policy for Reserves

This policy is based on the University’s interpretation of the United States Copyright Act of 1976. 17USC § 107 which establishes the principle, commonly called "fair use," that the reproduction of copyright works for certain limited, educational purposes, does not constitute copyright infringement. The Four Factors of Fair Use are:

Purpose: As a nonprofit educational institution TIU promotes research and scholarship only for its students.

Nature: Usually factual, nonfiction, published works that are important to the professor’s educational objectives.

Amount: Small quantity of entire work which is appropriate to Trinity’s educational purpose.

Effect: One e-copy is made, with access limited to TIU students, with no significant affect on the market, or potential market.

Guidelines and Principles

1. Works placed on reserve are intended to serve as incidental or supplemental reading material for the course. If intended as primary readings (serving as a "textbook") for the course, a course pack must be prepared instead.

2. No copy will be placed on reserve if it is intended to substitute for the purchase of books or other material readily available on the market for a fair price.

3. The library does not provide electronic reserves, but instead encourages faculty to place online materials on the course's Moodle page. Short portions of works, up to and including single chapters from books and single articles from journals, may be placed on Moodle without seeking copyright permission. 

4. Professors are responsible for obtaining and submitting a copy of the copyright permission to the library for all works that are not covered by fair use.

5. If a journal article is available in full text online through one of the library’s databases, where the database provider grants e-reserve access in the licensing agreement, it can be directly linked from the course's Moodle page.

6. The purpose of ILL is to provide to individual patrons access to materials not currently owned by the institution’s library. This includes print materials, audio/visual materials and photocopies (print or electronic) of journal articles. Due to the nature of ILL, items requested may not be used on course reserve. According to copyright law, copies of materials placed online for students to use should be made from originals-either printed materials or authorized copies-owned by the institution or instructor. Please see the Copyright Clearance Center for more information. 

7. Please note that copyright law is subject to change, and the Library may have to revise its copyright policies without notice to comply with new laws or rulings.

8. For more information, please email

Updated August 2019

Questions About Library Reserves and Copyright

1. What if a textbook for a class does not arrive, or not enough copies were ordered – can I put a textbook on reserve?

Yes, in an emergency, until more copies of a textbook arrives you may put a copy on reserve. The textbook will be taken off reserve as soon as possible, unless the title is one owned by the library.

2. Can I place the same material on Reserve from semester to semester?

The answer depends on the type of material. Material not protected by copyright (such as class notes) may be placed on reserve from semester to semester. Material protected by copyright however must be scrutinized under the Four Factors of Fair Use. As a general rule, libraries have interpreted the continual use of the same material as not protected by Fair Use. This holds true the longer the items is on Reserve. There are two prominent exceptions to this interpretation:

1. Any material for which the copyright holder provides documented permission may be placed on reserve for as long a period as specified by the copyright holder.

2. A book or journal owned by the Rolfing Library may be placed on reserve from semester to semester.

3. Are these the only policies regarding Reserves in the Rolfing Library?

No, these are only the guidelines covering copyright and reserves. The library has posted a complete list of  Reserve Procedures.