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May a professor assemble an anthology or coursepack of materials for purchase by students or to put on reserve?
The court decisions in Michigan Document Services, Inc. v. Princeton Univ. Press and Basic Books, Inc. v. Kinko's Graphics Corp. have called the practice of compiling coursepacks into question. These cases involved commercial companies copying and compiling selected sections of works at the request of professors for their students without paying royalties. It is always acceptable and legal to create coursepacks when the copyright owners have granted permission. It is not necessarily permissible to assemble the same coursepacks without permission. Fair use is often found in cases where the material was copied for educational use. But in the above cases, fair use was called into question because commercial companies stood to benefit from the production of these coursepacks. The coursepacks were perceived as substitutes for textbooks, which reduce the potential market for copyrighted publications. Most articles or chapters in a course packet, including photocopied music excerpts, will require permission. There may be instances in which the material included falls in the public domain, or meets the fair use criteria. In those instances, permission is not required. Each item in the packet also must include a notice of copyright (e.g., "Copyright 1990 by Academic Books, Inc.") even if the material falls within the fair use provisions, but not if the material falls within the public domain. Individuals who purchase course packets should not be charged in excess of cost.
Can I put the same photocopy on reserve more than one semester? If the semesters are not successive can I repeat the use?
Copying for the library reserve is governed by Section 107 of the copyright law, the fair use doctrine. A reserve of a photocopied article is permissible, and in many instances this will be covered under the fair use doctrine. However, if the article is placed on reserve for more than one semester, then permission of the copyright holder must be sought. The Classroom Guidelines specify that "Copying shall not be repeated with respect to the same item by the same teacher from term to term". This presumes the ability of the teacher to obtain the necessary permission for copying the materials in the time frame following the first instance of copying. The principle that seems to underlie the idea that reserve is only fair use for a while is that if you know you are going to need the work repeatedly, semester after semester, or over an extended period of time even if you plan to skip a semester, you have sufficient time to ask for permission.