Copyright Information

Electronic Reserves and Media Items on Reserve

Fayetteville State University's Chesnutt Library has implemented Electronic Reserves to provide Reserve Materials online as support for the instructional requirements of specific courses.

Resources supporting obtaining copyright permissions and understanding fair use guidelines are provided below as a service for Fayetteville State University's faculty, staff, and students. Included below is also information regarding performance rights for copyrighted video recordings.

Description of Electronic Reserves

Electronic Reserves involve the creation of a digital image of the articles, chapters and other reserve reading materials. These digital files are then linked to the library's catalog so a student can search the catalog to locate and retrieve the digitized reserve materials, to print or download them for their personal study purposes. Electronic Reserve materials may be in the public domain, subject to fair use guidelines of the Copyright Law, or copyrighted materials for which permission from the copyright owner has been obtained.

Media Items on Reserve

The copyright owner of a motion picture or other audiovisual work has numerous rights, including the public performance of the work1. A public performance2 of a work occurs if any of the following conditions are met:

  • the screening is open to the public
  • the screening is in a public space where access is not restricted
  • persons attending are outside the normal circle of a family and its acquaintances

Examples of public performances include:

  • showing a foreign-language film to the community for cultural enrichment
  • showing a film to your club or organization
  • instructor showing a film in the classroom for curriculum-related purposes, but in a public or unrestricted-access location

Examples of non-public performances include:

  • privately viewing a film in your room with friends
  • an instructor showing the film to officially registered students in a classroom, where content of film directly relates to the course
  • Many of the video recordings, DVDs, CDs, and cassettes in Chesnutt Library's Media Center do not include public performance rights. Educational use of motion pictures is covered by Section 110(1) of the Copyright Law, Title 17, U.S. Code, which allows for "performance or display of a work by instructors or pupils in the course of face-to-face teaching activities of a nonprofit educational institution, in a classroom or similar place devoted to instruction, unless, in the case of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, the performance, or the display of individual images, is given by means of a copy that was not lawfully made under this title, and that the person responsible for the performance knew or had reason to believe was not lawfully made."

Fair Use Guidelines

Fair use is determined on a case-by-case basis, and may include short items such as an article from a journals, a chapter from a book or conference proceedings, or a poem from a collected work, or may include excerpts from longer items such as articles, chapters, poems, and other works that are of such length as to constitute a substantial portion of a book, journal, or other work of which they may be a part. In general, the total amount of fair use material included in electronic reserve systems for a specific course should be a small proportion of the course's total assigned reading, as ad hoc or supplemental information beyond a textbook or other assigned materials.Section 107(1-4) Limitations on Exclusive Rights: Fair Use, of the Copyright Law, Title 17, U. S. Code states "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 by 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 fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors."NOTE: Legitimately purchased copies of video recordings, DVDs, CDs, and cassette tapes may be placed on reserve in the Media Center. Home made copies of television shows, movies, news, etc. on video recordings, DVDs, CDs and cassettes CAN NOT be placed on Reserve in the Media Center to be shown, because it will violate copyright compliance regarding Public Performance Rights.

The URLs below describe and define copyright and fair use, and provide information on obtaining copyright permission:

North Carolina State University Scholarly Communication Website. Provides guidance on fair use and other issues such as database licensing, user privacy, materials on reserve, interlibrary loan and document delivery services

Library of Congress, U.S. Copyright Office. This site provides basic information on copyright, registration procedures and forms, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS), pending legislation information, and full text of the Copyright Law of the United States.

Copyright Law of the United States of America and Related Laws Contained in Title 17 of the United States Code, Circular 92, Chapter 1: Subject Matter and Scope of Copyright

Association of American Publishers.

This site provides useful information on:

The New & Updated Copyright Primer PowerPoints: a Survival Guide to Copyright and the Permission Process 

"When U. S. Works Pass Into the Public Domain." Table/Chart created by Laura Gasaway, Director of the Law Library at UNC - Chapel Hill. The chart provides assistance in determining time limits on copyrights under the Term Extension Act, PL 105_298.

Copyright Clearance Center,

Copyright Resources Online,

Created by Ann Okerson. Associate University Librarian, Yale University. Resources are extensive, and include annotated citations, bibliographies and sample university copyright policies.

Copyright Basics, Copyright Society of the U.S.A.

Crash Course in Copyright, University of Texas.

University Publishing: Copyright, Washington State University

Copyright for Music Librarians, Music Library Association

Library Media and Public Performance Rights, Kuhn Library, University of Maryland

Faculty needing additional assistance in obtaining copyright clearance for Electronic Reserves and classroom materials may contact Jan Whitfield, Head of Public Services, at 910-672-1236 or by email at For questions regarding items placed on Reserve in the Media Center, contact Carlos Lazaro, Head of the Media Center at 672-1671 or by email at