It is the intent of the Valparaiso University Library to adhere to the provisions of the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, United States Code Sec. 101 et seq.) Although there continues to be controversy regarding interpretation of copyright law, this set of guidelines represents a sincere effort to operate legally.

The library disapproves of unauthorized duplication in any form. Faculty, employees and students of the university who willfully disregard the copyright policy do so at their own risk, and assume all liability.

Appropriate notices reminding faculty, employees and students of the Copyright Law are posted at sites where interlibrary loan requests are submitted and on all copy machines.

Reserve Copyright Guidelines

The Valparaiso University Library will scan materials for posting within a course according to the Fair Use Guidelines established by the Copyright Act of 1976. The Guidelines require that scans for educational use be of a limited nature, as determined by the tests of brevity, spontaneity, and cumulative effect. Otherwise, permission must be requested from the copyright owner. Faculty putting items on their course pages will need to state that they believe the items that they want to post fall within fair use.

Fair Use Guidelines

In the legislative history of the 1976 Copyright Act, Congress endorsed certain guidelines relating to classroom copying for educational use. These guidelines are generally considered to establish minimum permissible conduct under the Fair Use Doctrine for unauthorized copying. Although some limited copying which does not fall within these guidelines may still qualify as permissible conduct under the copyright law, copying which does comply with these guidelines generally constitutes permissible conduct under the copyright law.

Agreement On Guidelines For Classroom Copying In Not-For-Profit Educational Institutions With Respect To Books and Periodicals

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:

A. The copying meets the tests of brevity and spontaneity as defined below; and,
B. Meets the cumulative effect test as defined below; and,
C. 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.
i. 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% of the work, whichever is less, but in any event a minimum of 500 words.

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: One 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. Paragraph "i" above notwithstanding such "special works" may not be reproduced in their entirety; however, an excerpt comprising no more than two of the published pages of such special work and containing not more than 10% 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.

Cumulative Effect:

i. The copying of the material is for only one course in the school in which the copies are made.
ii. Not more than one short poem, article, story, essay or two excerpts may be copied from the same author, nor more than three from the same collective work or periodical volume during on class term.

The limitations stated in "ii" and "iii" above shall not apply to current news periodicals and newspapers and current news sections of other periodicals.


Notwithstanding any of the above, the following shall be prohibited:

A. Copying shall not be used to create or to replace or substitute for anthologies, compilations, or collective works. Such replacement or substitution may occur whether copies of various works or excerpts therefrom are accumulated or are reproduced and used separately.

B. There shall be no copying of or from works intended to be "consumable" in the course of study or teaching. These include workbooks, exercises, standardized tests and test booklets and answer sheets and like consumable material.

C. Copying shall not:

  • substitute for the purchase of books, publisher's reprints or periodicals;
  • be directed by higher authority;
  • be repeated with respect to the same item by the same teacher from term to term.

D. No charge shall be made to the student beyond the actual cost of the photocopying.