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Copyright Guidelines

As an institution devoted to the creation, discovery, and dissemination of knowledge, the UMD Libraries are committed to complying with intellectual property laws. The UMD Libraries execute due diligence in respecting the rights of creators of copyrighted works while aiding faculty and staff in exercising the rights accorded to users under the “Fair Use” provision of U.S. copyright law. In support of this philosophy, the following guidelines have been developed for making materials available through electronic reserves (e-reserves).

  1. Prerequisites to Posting Materials: UMD Libraries will make materials available on e-reserves only at the request of the instructor. The materials should be related to the educational goals of the course, and the University or the instructor should own a lawful copy of the materials. Single copies of copyrighted materials made by or for an instructor for use in teaching will also be accepted.

  2. Access: ELMS limits access to e-reserves for a particular course to students enrolled in that course, the instructor, and a course administrator. There is no cost to access e-reserves.

  3. What materials may be posted: Materials may be made available through e-reserves consistent with copyright law; e.g., when:

    1. Copyright of the materials is owned by the instructor (e.g., course syllabi, lectures) or the University (works prepared under sponsored research agreements, University committee reports); or

    2. Materials have entered the public domain or are not protected by copyright (e.g., works created by U.S. government employees in the scope of their employment; or

    3. Owner of copyright has given permission for the materials to be made available through e-reserves; or

    4. Materials are made available under a license that authorizes the University to make them available through e-reserves either by linking or posting the material; or

    5. Use of the materials qualifies as a "Fair Use" under copyright law.

  4. Fair Use: The instructor should make an initial assessment about whether use of the requested material qualifies as fair use. Reserves Staff and/or the Office of Legal Affairs are available to assist. If fair use does not apply and a third party holds copyright of the material, permission must be sought before posting the materials to e-reserves.

Fair use determination requires consideration of four factors: the purpose of the use, the nature of the material, the amount of the material to be posted, and the effect on the market of posting the material. The UMD Libraries recommend that instructors use a fair use checklist, such as the one developed by Columbia University's Copyright Advisory Services, to assist with making this determination. The UMD Libraries reserve the right to refuse to post materials it believes do not comply with U.S. copyright law.

  1. Posting Requirements: The following copyright information should be included in each file posted to e-reserves:

    1. Warning: NOTICE: The materials provided in this e-reserve may be protected by copyright law. (Title 17 US Code). You may print a copy of e-reserve materials for your personal study, reading, research, or education. Reproducing, distributing, modifying and/or making derivative works based on the materials posted to this e-reserve for any other purposes may be an infringement of the owner's copyright and subject you to civil and criminal liability as well as potential action by the University.

    2. Attributions: The following information will be included with each posting:

      1. When the original work includes a copyright notice, that copyright notice will be included with the material posted on e-reserve.

      2. Appropriate bibliographic information to identify the copyrighted work.

  2. Removal of Materials: the UMD Libraries will remove all materials from e-reserves at the conclusion of the course. A copy of the materials may be retained for students who need continued access to complete the course.

For questions about e-reserves, contact Reserves Staff at lib-askreserves@umd.edu. For more information about copyright and fair use, visit the UMD Libraries’ copyright guide.