SUNY Broome Library Fall 2020 COVID-19 Update

Is It Fair Use? (Guidelines)

If work is fair use then it may be used without permission. If not, their permission must be obtained. Please note that all educational use is not automatically Fair Use. The Fair Use test must be applied to each use of a work and is applied to any medium.

  Likely Fair Use Likely Permission Needed
Why Will the Work Be Used?
  • Criticism
  • Educational
  • News and Reportage
  • Non-Profit
  • Personal
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Scholarship and Research
  • Commerical
  • Entertainment
  • For Profit
What Type of Work Will be Used?
  • Factual
  • Published
  • Creative, e.g. fiction
  • Unpublished
How Much of the Work Will Be Used?
  • Small Amount, e.g. 1 article per journal, 1 chapter from a book
  • Large Amount (over 10%)
  • Core or "Essence"
What Is the Effect of the Use on the Potential Market?
  • None
  • Licensing/Permission Unavailable
  • Major Effect
  • Available to the World

When U.S. Works Pass Into the Public Domain

Definition: A public domain work is a creative work that is not protected by copyright and which may be freely used by everyone. The reasons that the work is not protected include: (1) the term of copyright for the work has expired; (2) the author failed to satisfy statutory formalities to perfect the copyright or (3) the work is a work of the U.S. Government.

Date of Work Protected From Term
Created 1-1-78 or after When work is fixed in tangible medium of expression Life + 70 years1(or if work of corporate authorship, the shorter of 95 years from publication, or 120 years from creation2
Published before 1923 In public domain None
Published from 1923 - 1963 When published with notice3 28 years + could be renewed for 47 years, now extended by 20 years for a total renewal of 67 years. If not so renewed, now in public domain
Published from 1964 - 1977 When published with notice 28 years for first term; now automatic extension of 67 years for second term
Created before 1-1-78 but not published 1-1-78, the effective date of the 1976 Act which eliminated common law copyright Life + 70 years or 12-31-2002, whichever is greater
Created before 1-1-78 but published between then and 12-31-2002 1-1-78, the effective date of the 1976 Act which eliminated common law copyright Life + 70 years or 12-31-2047 whichever is greater

By Lolly Gasaway, University of North Carolina

  1. Term of joint works is measured by life of the longest-lived author.
  2. Works for hire, anonymous and pseudonymous works also have this term. 17 U.S.C. § 302(c).
  3. Under the 1909 Act, works published without notice went into the public domain upon publication. Works published without notice between 1-1-78 and 3-1-89, effective date of the Berne Convention Implementation Act, retained copyright only if efforts to correct the accidental omission of notice was made within five years, such as by placing notice on unsold copies. 17 U.S.C. § 405. (Notes courtesy of Professor Tom Field, Franklin Pierce Law Center and Lolly Gasaway).

How to Obtain Permission to Copy

These suggestions will speed the process. Giving necessary information will permit the publisher to respond to copying requests.

  1. Request permission before you make the photocopies. The earlier your request is received, the better. If permission is not granted, you will want time to substitute other materials.
  2. Library will keep file of permissions sought and granted.
  3. Direct your request to the publisher's copyrights and permissions department and not to the author. The page containing the copyright notice shows who owns the copyright, the year of publication and the publisher's name. (Include this page with any photocopied material sent to the library to be placed on Reserve.)
  4. Request permission whether or not works are in print.
  5. Include all of the following information in your request:


    1. Author's, editor's, translator's full name(s)
    2. Title, edition and volume number of book or journal
    3. Copyright date
    4. ISBN for books or ISSN for magazines/journals
    5. Numbers of the exact pages, figures and illustrations
    6. Both exact chapter(s) and exact page numbers, if you are requesting a chapter or more.
    7. Number of copies to be made (cannot exceed course enrollment)
    8. Whether material will be used alone or combined w/other photocopied materials
    9. How material is to be used--supplementary, handouts in class, etc.
    10. Name of college/university
    11. Course name and number
    12. Semester and year in which material will be used
    13. Instructor's full name
  6. Provide your complete address and the name of a contact person and telephone number in case there are any questions. When mailing form, please provide SASE for the publisher's convenience.

The Copyright Clearance Center, has online forms but a fee is usually required. Generally permission may be obtained from the publisher free. Please print and use our online form.

Letter for Requesting Copyright Permission

Form for Granting Copyright Permission from Copyright Owner

How to Submit Reserves

  1. All reserve material items should be sent or brought to the Library Circulation Desk. A class syllabus would be helpful, also. However, you are encouraged to contact  Robin Petrus in the event of specific concerns.
  2. To give staff sufficient time for scanning and processing reserve articles, please allow the following lead time:


    1. First two weeks of semester: two weeks
    2. All other periods: three business days
  3. The library must have a signed reserve form for each batch of material you submit (See: Form for placing reserves).
  4. Student Computer Resources ID and password (same as computer lab login) will be used to access Electronic Reserves. In specific cases, a class specific password will be assigned by your instructor.
  5. All electronic reserve material will be removed from the publicly accessible directory at the end of each semester. (However, archive copies will be maintained that can be re-used in the event of further need.)
  6. Please bring in materials to be placed on Reserve well in advance of student's needs for them. Our goal is to process material in 24-48 hours, but at peak times during the semester it may take longer to provide access to materials.

Electronics Reserves (e-Reserves)

The library offers an Electronic Reserves Service that supplements the traditional paper Course Reserves system. Access to e-reserves is restricted to BCC faculty, staff, current students - campus and distance learners.

E-reserves service has several advantages:

  • Web-based access to digitized objects as well as links to the faculty's online course syllabi
  • 24/7/365 access

How to ensure highest quality electronic files

Check online resources and databases first before submitting an article for scanning. Submitted material must be printed on white 8.5 x 11 or 8.5 x 14 sheets.

Material should not contain:

  • Illegible text
  • Small text (under 10 points)
  • Smeared or distorted text
  • Blotches
  • Pasted on material
  • Dark areas (other than pertaining images)
  • Frayed edges, cutout material or staples

Clear legible text on submitted material is vital for a good quality PDF file Text that is not readable when submitted will not be readable when scanned

Full bibliographic information must be provided for all copyrighted material.

The orientation of text should be the same on each page of the printed reserve. When photocopying material, place each page in the exact same spot on the copier, so that the information on each sheet will be in the exact same place on each subsequent sheet. This is necessary because during the digital scanning process only the areas containing information will be selected. When scanning multiple sheets, the selected area will apply to all sheets thus any information outside the selected area will be clipped. Clipped information cannot be added to the resulting PDF file.

Submitted reserve item should not exceed 50 pages.

The pages of a submitted reserve item should be checked to ensure correct page numbering prior to submission.

Book and magazine reserve items should be limited to one chapter or one article per reserve item. If a chapter or article exceeds the 50 page limit for each reserve item, then that chapter or article must be further divided into separated reserve items labeled part A ,B, etc. (Each part should have its own corresponding "I" number and should not exceed 50 pages.)

A reserve item that contains a large number of high quality images vital to that material can be broken up into smaller files. Special reserve items such as these require a notice by e-mail or phone call ahead of sending the hard copy.

References & Useful Copyright Information