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Copyright and Fair Use: Copyright Compliance for Electronic Content

Steps to Creating Copyright Compliant Reserves

Information on placing something on reserve can be found on our Course Reserves Page. The following steps to ensure Copyright Compliance must be taken by the faculty member before placing an item on reserve.

Step 1: Restrict Access

If copyrighted materials are placed on the web, access must be restricted to authorized users.


Placing documents in password protected areas such as a BlazeVIEW course or on the library's Electronic Reserves ensures access is restricted to only the intended users.

Step 2: Post a Copyright Notice

This is an example of text that may be used to warn of copyright restrictions:


Notice: Warning concerning copyright restrictions.  The copyright law of the United States (Title 17. United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy/reproduction is NOT TO BE "USED FOR ANY PURPOSES OTHER THAN PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP, or RESEARCH." If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction [including that made by electronic transmission of reserve, interlibrary loan, or other course material] for purposes in excess of fair use, that user may be liable for copyright infringement.


This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law.

Step 3: Check for copyright compliance each semester

Odum Library has access to a wide variety of electronic materials. To see if items you wish to place on electronic reserve are licensed:




If an item is available electronically, you may link to it in your online course. See instructions for creating reliable links for BlazeVIEW.


  • Open Educational Material:  In the past few years there has been a large increase in the amount of open-access academic works. To learn more about Open Educational Materials and how they can benefit you and your students, see our guide on OER or visit the Affordable Learning Georgia site.


  • Public Domain:   Material in the public domain can be scanned and used for courses without copyright restrictions. In general, government publications and older materials are in the public domain.  Cornell University has an excellent chart listing copyright terms and when materials pass into the public domain.

See our page on Fair Use for more information about determining if your material qualifies for a Fair Use exception.

See this information on how to obtain copyright permission from the author.


Permissions for some works may also be potentially obtained through the Copyright Clearance Center.

Some materials may be able to be purchased by the library. Contact your department's library liaison or fill out the library's purchase request form for possible purchase of material.


Streaming media: The library may already have access to streaming media suitable for your course. See our guide on videos and media.