FAQ

What will Course Reserves and Copyright Services do for me?

The staff will:

  1. If necessary secure permission to use copyrighted material for you
  2. Place the material on reserve in the library or upload it into your Blackboard shell (electronic reserve) for you
  3. Answer questions about copyright and using copyrighted works

How do I go about placing material on reserve for my students?

See our Placing Material on Reserve page for more information.

How long will the material remain on Reserve?

Print reserves: Material will be removed at the end of each semester unless a request is submitted to have it remain for the next semester.

Electronic reserves: Material will remain in Blackboard only for the duration of your class. Material may not be made available beyond the last class date.

May I put multiple copies of an item on reserve?

You may put multiple copies of an item on traditional print reserve if having only one copy available would create access problems for your students. Please observe a rule of one copy for every twenty students in the class.

I authored the material I want to put on reserve. Will Course Reserves and Copyright Services place it on reserve for me?

Yes, provided that the copyright is not held by another party (a journal publisher, for example). If you hold the copyright and want to place the material on reserve, you may do so without limitation.

Must I obtain permission to use copyrighted material?

Using copyrighted material one time without obtaining permission is allowed under the idea of appropriate academic usage, but you must obtain permission from the copyright holder for each subsequent use and, if applicable, pay usage charges. This applies to both print and electronic reserves.

How long does it take to obtain copyright clearance?

It really depends on the copyright holder. Some rights holders reply within a week, while others take a month or longer. The best policy is to get your requests to us as far in advance of the course start date as possible. The more lead time we have, the more likely the material will be ready for your class.

I made a copy of a video. May I place this on reserve for my students?

Only if you obtained permission from the copyright holder to make the copy and to use it in this way. If you did not obtain permission to make the copy in the first place what you have is considered an illegal copy and the Course Reserves and Copyright Services office will not place it on reserve.

Which material can I place on reserve without having to obtain permission or pay copyright charges?

Here are a few categories of material that may be used freely:

  1. Self-authored material (unpublished) -- Since you are the copyright holder you can use it as you wish;
  2. Government publications -- Publications of the United States government are considered public domain and, therefore, can be used freely;
  3. Material in the public domain -- If an item has passed into the public domain, it is no longer protected by copyright and can be used without limitation;
  4. Open access material -- Many authors create material that is intended to be used and shared freely. In most cases, all the author asks is an acknowledgement of the source of the material;
  5. Material from the CMU Libraries collections -- According to our licensing agreements, material from electronic journals, article databases, and print journal and book collections owned by the CMU Libraries may be placed on electronic reserve without having to obtain permission or pay usage charges;

And remember that linking to material does not require permission since you are not actually creating a copy of the content. Linking is a great way to provide information to your students without having to consider copyright ramifications.

How can I learn more about copyright?

The CMU copyright site provides information about copyright and using copyrighted materials as part of instruction.