Copyright Information  

It is ODU Library's intention to follow, and to assist others in following, copyright laws. Although copyright law is not clear cut, we hope the following links and resources will be of assistance. 

Classroom Copying Guidelines  Obtaining Copyright Permissions 
Copyright Resources  Reserves Guidelines 



The U.S. Copyright Office provides a good overview of the purpose, background, and function of current copyright law via its Copyright FAQ and also its Circular 1, Copyright Basics. 

The copyright law was written in part to provide for the concept of "fair use," which applies to nonprofit educational material. The library would like to help faculty provide the required course readings, books and material for their students within the framework of the law and fair use guidelines.

The following factors are to be considered in determining whether a particular use of a copyrighted work is a permitted "fair use," rather than an infringement of the copyright:

  • the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes,
  • the nature of the copyrighted work,
  • the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole, and
  • the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work Copyright Law of the U.S. and Related Laws Contained in Title 17 of the U.S. Code  

Obtaining Copyright Permissions

Faculty members or instructors are responsible for requesting permission. It will be necessary for you or an assistant to write to the copyright holder. Describe the extent of the copying and the intended use. If unsure of the copyright holder, we recommend you contact the publisher. Addresses, if not included in the publication itself, may be available in Books in Print or other resources available via the Library.

The Copyright Clearance Center provides an easy, fee-based method for obtaining copyright permission for most photocopying and reserve needs. For more information and ways to purchase permission, access the Copyright Clearance Center website