What will Course Reserves and Copyright Services do for me?
The office will:
- Secure one semester's worth of usage permission for materials you'd like to place on course reserve
- Pay any applicable usage fees
- Place the material on physical reserve in the library or upload it directly into your Blackboard course shell
- Answer questions about copyright and using copyrighted works
How can I place 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 without obtaining permission from the copyright holder.
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
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
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:
- Self-authored material (unpublished) -- Since you are the copyright holder you can use it as you wish;
- Government publications -- Publications of the United States
government are considered public domain and, therefore, can be used
- 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
- 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;
- 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.