Guidelines for the Use of Copyrighted Materials in VSCS Libraries

Journal Articles:

VSC Libraries will accept a single photocopy for reserve room use for a single semester. For the item to remain on reserve beyond that period, the faculty member using it must secure a written release from the copyright holder.

Book Excerpts:

Photocopies from monographs will be accepted for reserves only if the College library does not own the book and the excerpt is less than 25% of the book.

Photocopies of more than 25% of a book can be placed on reserve only if:

  • The title is “ordered/not received,” or
  • The title is out of print, or
  • The item is accompanied by a completed copyright waiver (“permission for use” form).

Sourcebook/Coursepack: (a copied collection of written material compiled from one or more sources produced at the request of faculty for students to use in class)

It is the faculty member’s responsibility to be aware of and to comply with copyright laws regarding sourcebooks/coursepacks. VSC Libraries will place a single copy of a sourcebook/coursepack on reserve. The libraries will not attempt to secure copyright permission for sourcebooks/coursepacks, and cannot take responsibility for any copyright law violations incurred in the compilation of a sourcebook/coursepack.

Unpublished Materials:

Manuscripts, typescripts, student papers, theses, proofs or galleys cannot be placed on reserve unless the libraries receive a “permission for use” form, signed by the copyright holder (even if that holder is a VSC faculty or staff member). The libraries will not attempt to secure nor will they be responsible for securing copyright clearance for unpublished material.

A single copy of anything deemed “publicly distributed” (a paper presented at a conference, for example) does not require copyright clearance. The date, occasion and place of public distribution must appear on the first page of the document.

Media materials (audiotapes/videotapes/DVDs): If media materials are available commercially, only the commercial version can be placed on reserve. A copy can be placed on reserve if the item is out of print. If this is the case, please refer to the provision above regarding book excerpts. The exception is the reproduction of nightly news programs, which may be copied and placed on reserve indefinitely.


Guidelines for the Use of Copyrighted Materials in VSC Coursework

The use of these materials must follow the “fair use” provision of copyright law. The VSC defines “fair use” in this setting as follows: it is permissible to disseminate copyrighted material to students without clearance from the holder when it’s “spontaneous,” that is, a “teachable moment” related to the use of this material can be identified by the faculty member. Otherwise, faculty must follow the permissions process found in Section I.

The VSC will monitor changes in the “fair use” guidelines and revise this policy as needed to maintain compliance.


Guidelines for the Use of Copyrighted Materials in Online Environments

The Vermont State Colleges subscribe to the principles governed by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and amendments to the Copyright Act of 1976, specifically with regards to the following:

  • Distance learning: The guidelines for digital information are analogous to those for hard copy. The exceptions are that faculty may transmit a nondramatic literary or musical work, excerpts from recordings of dramatic literary or musical work, photographs, charts, tables, “thumbnails” of artwork, or stills from motion pictures as part of an online course with restricted access (by username/password). It is imperative that student access to these materials be terminated at the end of the course, and that permissions are secured for works that are used repeatedly.
  • Electronic reserves: Copyrighted materials placed on electronic reserve must be password protected, with access granted only to students and faculty directly tied to the course in need of these materials.
  • Websites: Any copyrighted materials used on websites owned, operated, maintained or administered by the VSC and websites located on VSC host sites must have the permission of the holder on file.