LBIS is currently reviewing our copyright policies for course reserves, given the increased demand for digital services and the complexity of the relevant copyright laws.  The information listed here is provided as a guide for determining copyright compliance of course items, but will not apply to all cases or uses. Current copyright guidelines for Kenyon College Course Reserve services are based on Title 17, U.S. Code, section 107: the section of copyright law addressing fair use.  Just because an portion of a source is used for educational purposes does not constitute fair use, it is one factor in determining if a use is fair.  Current educational reserves copyright litigation speaks to determining what uses may be deemed "Fair Use".  The following is a very brief synopse of the ongoing academic electronic reserves litigation.

** In April 2008, three academic publishers (Cambridge University Press, SAGE Publications, and Oxford University Press (with the backing of the Copyright Clearance Center ) filed a lawsuit against four officers of GSU for "pervasive, flagrant and ongoing unauthorized distribution of coyrighted materials" through the library's e-reserve system.  Cambridge University Press et al.v.Patton et al.

** May of 2012 -In the Georgia State case Judge Evans proposed a 10-percent rule to guide decisions about what constitutes fair use in an educational setting. For books without chapters or with fewer than 10 chapters, "unpaid copying of no more than 10 percent of the pages in the book is permissible under factor three," she wrote in her ruling. For books with 10 or more chapters, "permissible fair use" would be copying up to one chapter or its equivalent. **  Kevin Smith , Scholarly Communications at Duke Universty.

**October of 2014 - the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals reversed in remanded the District Court of Northern Georgia's decision, and found in favor of the publisher appellants.

** February 24th. 2015 - "the Plaintiffs filed a motion with the District Cout to re-open the record, and on April 23rd,2015 District Court Judge Evans dismissed the motion to reopen the record and issued an order about briefing the court on what a new analysis of fair use for the original excerpts considered in the trial should look like."  cited from website.

Detailed information on the continuing Georgia State Electronic Reserves copyright lawsuit can be found here.

"FAIR USE" (Section 107 of Copyright Law)  Each item posted to E-Reserves or Moodle must be evaluated for "Fair Use".  The Fair Use Evaluator or the Fair Use Checklist are helpful tools to determine if an item falls within fair use and can be posted, or if permission must be sought and paid before posting.   There are Four Factors that the courts use in  determining fair use for educational institutions.

  1. The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes
  2. The nature of the copyrighted work ( creative versus factual) 
  3. The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole.  

 ** Cambridge vs GSU - Judge Evans ruled, "That reasonable limit is 10% of a book with fewer than 10 chapters, or of a book that is not divided into chapters, or no more than one chapter or its equivalent in a book of more than 10 chapters."  The ruling was appealed to the 11th Circuit Court and this numeration was thrown out.  The whole case was remanded back to the District court to reconsider.**

     4.  The effect of the use upon the potential market for, or value of, the copyrighted work. 

       ** Posting the "heart of the work", for example, posting the section from fromer President Gerald Ford's memoirs that talk about why he pardoned Richard Nixon.

For more discussion on the 11th Circuit Court decision and it's impact on fair use for digital reserves -

Please note if you post resources, you are responsible for following copyright law.  The following Libguide is an excellent resource for copyright compliance and open access policies.It is important to note that scanning digital materials is subject to the same laws and guidelines as copying print materials, and that re-posting items found freely on the Internet may still constitute copyright infringement.

What are my options if the items needed for digital reserves fall outside of "Fair Use"?

  • Rightsholders will be contacted and reasonable permission fees will be paid by LBIS if you process your reserves through Access Services.  If you post items on your own you are responsible for copyright compliance and obtaining permission as necessary.
  • Find a similiar item licensed through the Creative Commons
  • Links to on-line journals or ebooks should be used to avoid copyright restrictions.  License agreements for each journal should be reviewed to see if links to digital  reserves systems are permissible.
  • One or more copies of a Kenyon, Consort or personal copy can be placed on Regular Book Course Reserves.

 Please contact Joan Nielson,, Jennifer Beck,, or Sarah McKee, for assistance with copyright clearance if you are using digital materials in your course pages.