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Copyright & Fair Use


Library Usage Policy

Northeastern State University recognizes and adheres to federal copyright law and guidelines. Copyright law applies to the use, performance, and display of copyrighted works. All members of the university community—faculty, staff, and students—are expected to obtain permission from copyright owners for uses protected by copyright law.

NSU Libraries support the use of copyrighted work that falls under the Fair Use Doctrine, which is codified in Section 107 of the Copyright Act. This statute establishes that the use of a copyrighted work “for purposes such as criticism, comment…teaching, scholarship, or research” is fair use. Note however that this use is not limitless.

For the use of copyrighted work to qualify as fair use under the statute, the following factors must be considered:

  • The purpose and character of the use;
  • the nature of the copyrighted work;
  • the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
  • the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

Library Film Use Policy

NSU Libraries support the viewing/showing of films for educational purposes. The viewing or showing of films outside of personal use is governed by United States Copyright Law. All faculty, staff, and students are required to meet the conditions stipulated in the Fair Use Doctrine when using film.

This policy applies to both physical media such as CDs and DVDs, and electronic media such as any video streaming service or source.

1. The use of the film must be related to a course, its content, or learning outcomes.
2. The entire audience must be involved in the teaching activity.
3. The entire audience must be in the same room (if in a face-to-face course) and must be students in the related course or faculty/staff members.
4. Teaching activities must accompany the film and must be conducted by a non-profit educational institution.
5. The film viewing must take place in a classroom or similar place (physical or virtual) devoted to instruction.
6. The faculty member responsible for the film use must have no reason to believe that the DVD or streaming video was unlawfully made or made available.

Library Course Reserves Policy

NSU Libraries’ reserves department provides students with access to supplementary materials designated by the faculty to assist in meeting their course objectives. The goal of our department is to provide equal access to all students for high-use and on-demand materials, so these materials have a shorter loan period than regular library items. We encourage faculty to place items on reserve, so students may use the service to enhance and broaden the scope of their course curriculum by using the provided complementary resources.

In order to comply with Copyright Law, materials on Reserve must be intended for non-commercial and educational use ONLY and must be removed or copyright permission reacquired by the faculty/staff requesting the reserve, at the end of EVERY semester. Submitting and signing off on a Reserve Request form indicates acceptance of the conditions in the statement of copyright compliance that accompanies the form.

The full Course Reserves Policy and submission form is available below.