Copyright Basics: Fair Use

Determining Fair Use

Exceptions for Libraries and Archives

Exceptions for the use of Materials in an Educational Setting

 
Exceptions for Libraries and Archives
Test Your Copyright Knowledge
What You Need To Know

Section 108 of the Copyright Act provides specific exceptions for libraries and archives in which they may make reproductions without obtaining permission from, or providing compensation to, the copyright holder.

To qualify for the exception, your library or archive must:

  • Produce no more than a single reproduction of a given work.
  • Derive no commercial gain from the reproduction.
  • Be open to the general public or to persons researching the specialized area in the library collection.
  • Include a notice of copyright or, in the absence of a notice on the work copied, a note that the work may be protected under copyright law.

In these instances, reproduction is meant to be isolated and unrelated; it should not result in the related or concerted reproduction of the same materials over a period of time. Neither should reproduction be systematic and serve as a substitute for a subscription to or purchase of the original work.

Reproduction under the exception may be done for the purpose of:

  • Library user requests for articles and short excerpts. At the request of a library user or another library on behalf of a library user, your library or archive may make one reproduction of an article from a periodical or a small part of any other work. The reproduction must become the property of the library user. The library must have no reason to believe that the reproduction will be used for purposes other than private study, scholarship and research. The library must also display the register's notice at the place where library users make their reproduction requests.
  • Archival reproductions of unpublished works. Up to three reproductions of any unpublished work may be made for preservation, security or deposit for research use in another library or archive. This may be a photocopy or digital reproduction. If it is a digital reproduction, it may not be made available to the public outside the library or archive premises. Prior to making the reproduction, your library or archive must make a reasonable effort to purchase a new replacement at a fair price. The library or archive must also own the work in its collection before reproducing it.
  • Replacement of lost, damaged or obsolete copies. Your library or archive may make up to three reproductions (including digital copies) of a published work that is lost, stolen, damaged, deteriorating or stored in an obsolete format. Any digital reproductions must be kept within the confines of the library (that is, available on its computer but not placed on a public network).
  • Library user requests for entire works. If certain conditions are met, your library may make one reproduction of an entire book or periodical at the request of either a library user or another library on behalf of a user. The library must first determine after reasonable investigation that a reproduction cannot be obtained at a reasonable price. The reproduction must become the property of the library user. The library must have no reason to believe that the reproduction will be used for purposes other than private study, scholarship and research. Finally, the library must display the register's notice at the place in the library where users make their reproduction requests.