Skip to Main Content

Policies and Procedures

Wayne G. Basler Library Policy and Procedures


The Wayne G. Basler Library abides by the United States Copyright Law of 1909, revised in 1976 (US Public Law 94-553, General Revision of the Copyright Law). Copying not specifically allowed by the Copyright Law, Fair Use Doctrine, or proprietor’s permission is prohibited in the Northeast State libraries. We also adhere to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, which includes (but is not limited to), copyright issues that relate to “online” content including Internet resources and materials utilized for distance education.

According to the US Copyright Office, copyright “is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States (title 17, U.S. Code) to the authors of ‘original works of authorship,’ including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works.” It applies to both published and unpublished works. Section 106 of the 1976 Copyright Act gives the copyright owner “the exclusive right” to copy or prepare derivatives from works; distribute copies to the public; perform audiovisual works in public; and/or display literary, musical, dramatic and choreographic works, pantomimes, and motion pictures and other audiovisual works.

Fair Use establishes restrictions on those rights. It allows usage of materials when certain conditions have been met. Copying for purposes such as criticism, comments, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research are sometimes not an infringement of copyright. Several factors are considered in determining fair use: whether the use is educational rather than commercial; the nature of the work—whether it contains plans or designs meant to be used; whether it is work meant for public viewing; the percentage used from the entire work and whether it will decrease the market value of the work.

The Professional Library Staff at Northeast State has prepared a very brief summary of basic copyright guidelines for student, staff, community borrowers, and faculty use as of July 2008. These guidelines are for distribution to Library users upon request. Please be aware that profound changes have been taking place since this manual was last updated – particularly as applied to distance education and to online course delivery (the TEACH Act as well as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act). For a more comprehensive, up-to-date definition of copyright and fair use, as provided by the Copyright Office, see the US Copyright Office Web Site at

Please note: The ultimate responsibility for copyright compliance belongs to the individual(s) making the copy/copies. When in doubt assume there is a violation of copyright law and contact the owner of copyright to request permission. Keep a copy of the request for permission and the permission granted.

The Library will assist in obtaining the necessary request forms and publishers’ addresses. It is the individual’s responsibility to complete the forms and contact the publishers.

Improper use of copyrighted material (print, audiovisual, software, etc…) may render educators liable to federal prosecution. Ignorance of the law is not defensible. Violations of the copyright law in teaching practices may subject the instructor and the institution to liability for actual and/or statutory damages. TBR and institutional policies require adherence to copyright law.


The Wayne G. Basler Library makes every effort to abide by copyright law and ensure that the faculty, staff, students, and community borrowers of Northeast State are aware of copyright policies affecting library materials. The following statements detail steps the Wayne G. Basler Library has taken to make the campus aware of copyright procedure.

Copyright Notice on Equipment

To inform users of copyright law, the Wayne G. Basler Library places copyright notices on all equipment capable of reproducing copyrighted materials, including:

  • Photocopy machines
  • Scanners
  • Microfilm printers
  • Fax machines

The copyright notice states:

The copyright laws of the United States (Title 17, US Code) govern the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. The person using this equipment is liable for any infringement.

Library Video and Audio Materials
  1. Read and abide by restrictions stated on packaging.
  2. Observe whether tape is limited to “Home Use Only” or “Public Performances Allowed”.  If the restriction is not evident, request clarification from the company in writing.
  3. Place label in an appropriate location on the material.
Interlibrary Loan

Read and abide by the guidelines for making photocopies as they are outlined in the TBR Policies and Guidelines. Stamp each outgoing photocopy with copyright statement.

Fair Use Guidelines - Photocopying

Guidelines for Classroom Copying in Not-For-Profit Educational Institutions with Respect to Books and Periodicals

Single Copying for Teachers

A single copy may be made of any of the following by or for a teacher at his or her individual request for his or her scholarly research or use in teaching or preparing to teach a class:

  1. A chapter from a book;
  2. An article from a periodical or newspaper;
  3. A short story, short essay or short poem, whether or not from a collective work - such as an anthology;
  4. A chart, graph, diagram, drawing, cartoon or picture from a book, periodical, or newspaper (syndicated cartoons may not be copied).

Multiple Copies for Classroom Use

Multiple copies (not to exceed in any event more than one copy per pupil in a course) may be made by or for the teacher giving the course for classroom use or discussion; provided that:

  1. The copying meets the test of brevity and spontaneity as defined below; and,
  2. Meets the cumulative effect test as defined below; and,
  3. Each copy includes a notice of copyright.



i.Poetry:   (a) A complete poem if less than 250 words and if printed on not more than two pages or,  (b) from a longer poem, an excerpt of not more than 250 words.

ii.Prose:  (a) Either a complete article, story or essay of less than 2,500 words, or (b) an excerpt from any prose work of not more than 1,000 words or 10 percent of the work, whichever is less.

(Each of the numerical limits stated in (i) and (ii) above may be expanded to permit the completion of an unfinished line of a poem or of an unfinished prose paragraph.)

iii.Illustration:  a chart, graph, diagram, drawing, cartoon or picture per book or per periodical issue.

iv.“Special” works: Certain works in poetry, prose or in “poetic prose” which often combine language with illustrations and which are intended sometimes for children and at other times for a more general audience fall short of 2,500 words in their entirety. Para. (ii) above notwithstanding, such “special works” may not be reproduced in their entirety; however, an excerpt comprising not more than two of the published pages of the special work and containing not more than 10 percent of the words found in the text thereof, may be reproduced.


i.The copying is at the instance and inspiration of the individual teacher, and

ii.The inspiration and decision to use the work and the moment of its use for maximum teaching effectiveness are so close in time that it would be unreasonable to expect a timely reply to a request for permission. That is to say, using something over a period of years is not within the spirit of the guidelines.

Adapted from Copyright and Fair Use in the Classroom, on the Internet, and the World Wide Web with permission from Information and Library Services, University of Maryland University College, Adelphi, MD, found at accessed on July 23, 2016.

Cumulative Effect

i.The copying of the material is for only one course in the school in which the copies are made.

ii.Multiple copies of different works which could substitute for the purchase of books, periodicals, or publisher’s reprints is in violation of copyright law.

iii.There shall not be more than nine instances of such multiple copying for one course during one class term.

iv.Copying the same works from semester to semester is not within the spirit of the fair use guidelines.

Reserve in the Library

Due to copyright restrictions the Library will only accept one photocopy from any one source (book, periodical, etc.) for Reserve. The photocopy may be on Reserve for one semester only and may not be kept on Reserve on a term-to-term basis. All photocopies must include a notice of copyright.  The effect of photocopying should not be detrimental to the market for the work. It is a violation of copyright to place a photocopy on Reserve in order for students in the class to make their own photocopies. Also please note that it is a copyright violation for students to make photocopies from workbooks and answer books placed on Reserve, which fall under the consumable works restrictions. The librarians have provided such works with a copyright notice on the cover.

Requesting Permission to Duplicate Materials

If the applicable conditions of Fair Use are not met, and the instructor would still like to use copyrighted materials for educational use, the instructor must specifically request permission from the publisher prior to using material in class. The Association of American Publishers has drawn up a procedure for requesting permission to duplicate materials.  The information required is listed below.  The request should be sent with a self-addressed stamped envelope to the Permissions Department of the publisher. In the letter be sure to include the following information:

  1. Title, author and/or editor, ISBN, and edition of materials to be duplicated;
  2. Exact materials to be used, giving amount, page numbers, chapters and, if possible, a photocopy of the materials;
  3. Number of copies to be made;
  4. Use to be made of the duplicated materials;
  5. Form of distribution (classroom, newsletter, Internet site, etc.);
  6. Whether or not the material is to be sold;
  7. Type of reprint (photocopy, computer printout, offset, typeset, etc.).


Students, staff, and faculty who use photocopying machines anywhere in the college are responsible for any violations they may commit. Photocopying machines have been posted with the following notice:

The copyright laws of the United States (Title 17, US Code) govern the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. “The person using this equipment is liable for any infringement.”

Guidelines for Multi-Media Materials

Multimedia and copyright issues can be rather difficult to interpret and apply. If you intend to copy any AV item the best advice is: always seek permission from the copyright holder.

The following are very general guidelines for types of materials and permissible amounts:

  • Motion media:
    • Up to 10 percent of the total or three minutes, whichever is less.
  • Text material:
    • Up to 10 percent of the total or 1,000 words, whichever is less.
    • An entire poem of less than 250 words may be used, but no more than three poems by one poet or five poems by different authors in an anthology. For poems exceeding 250 words, 250 words should be used but no more than three excerpts from one poet or five excerpts from different poets in the same work.
  • Music, lyrics, and music video:
    • Up to 10 percent of the work but no more than 30 seconds of the music or lyrics from an individual musical work.
  • Illustrations or photographs:
    • No more than five images from one artist or photographer.
    • No more than 10 percent or 15 images, whichever is less, from a collection.
  • Numerical data sets:
    • Up to 10 percent or 2,500 fields or cell entries, whichever is less, from a copyrighted database or data table.
  • Copying of a multimedia project:

For information regarding off-air recordings, public performance exemptions, copying AV materials, etc… please contact the Media Services Department in the Library or access some of the web addresses listed at the end of this section.


Guidelines for Coursepacks

The practice of creating “Coursepacks” of selected readings for students to use in their coursework is surrounded by controversy. It is probably an issue that falls more properly under the category of making multiple copies. In any event, under the law, coursepacks may be:

  • Limited for brevity.
  • Limited to one semester or term.
  • Limited to non-profit educational settings.
  • Subject to acquisition of permissions or licensing.

As mentioned previously, IF IN DOUBT SEEK PERMISSION.

Guidelines for Educational Multimedia and Distance Education
  1. Educational multimedia involves the integration of text, graphics, audio and/or video into a computer-based environment (online courses). Issues of copyright infringement are growing along with the growth of online courses.
  2. Distance education and copyright were thoroughly revised with the passage of the TEACH Act (“Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization Act”) in the Fall of 2002. This new law offers many improvements over the previous version but also carries with it some institutional requirements. For more information about the TEACH Act go to ( and query “TEACH Act”.
  3. For questions regarding educational multimedia and distance education please access the web addresses listed at the end of this section or contact the Director of Academic/Instructional Technology at Northeast State.
Guidelines for Internet Use

The Internet contains a vast array of materials, some copyrighted and some in the public domain. Most copyright experts agree that the Fair Use Doctrine applies to students and educators gathering research off the Internet. However, very few clear, concise copyright guidelines exist for Internet materials so users should always exercise caution when printing and downloading materials from the Internet. Pay close attention to copyright notices on web pages, and assume that items without notices are copyrighted. When creating web pages obtain permission before reproducing part of other web pages onto your own. Always properly credit Internet sources. Individual Internet users may be held responsible for copyright infringement.

Providers of Internet service may also be held liable for copyright infringement. However, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, enacted by congress in 1998, offers some protection from copyright infringement to Internet Service Providers (ISP) who comply with the provisions of the Act. Colleges and universities are considered to be ISPs and are subject to the Act. As such, Northeast State complies with the provisions of the Act. Any copyright violations detected on the Northeast State website should immediately be reported to the Northeast State Compliance Officer along with proper documentation. (Email:

Copyright Resources at Northeast State

For books, eBooks, and media regarding copyright law please access the Library’s catalog/discovery service and/or consult with a member of the Library’s staff. The Library has numerous resources to which the staff member can direct you.

Some online resources which may be useful are:

American Association of Publishers -

American Library Association -

Association of Research Libraries (ARL) Copyright & Intellectual Property Policies -

Copyright Clearance Center’s - Campus Guide to Copyright Compliance for Academic Institutions  -

United States Copyright Office  -

UMUC (University of Maryland University College) Copyright and Fair Use… -

“The TEACH Toolkit” -

George Mason University’s “Copyright and the Internet” -

Copyright Notice