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Copyright  

Last Updated: Apr 7, 2016 URL: http://libguides.mcneese.edu/copyright Print Guide RSS Updates

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Books and Journals

Can a faculty member distribute photographic copies of a book chapter in a face-to-face class?

Yes. Printed copies of a single chapter from most books can generally be distributed in class. The 1976 Copyright Act 10% rule applies in this case. Faculty must follow these basic guidelines:

  1. Copyright notice and bibliographic citations must be included in the copies
  2. The ownership of the photocopies is transferred to the students
  3. The faculty member must not charge the students
  4. No more than 10% of the book may be copied and distributed
  5. The faculty member may not distribute the same chapter each semester. The length of time is not specified. A basic guideline would be not to exceed two years from the original use of the copy.


Textbooks are treated a bit more strictly because these publishers are more proactive in defending their copyright monopolies. It is strongly recommended that faculty place original copies on reserve at Frazar Memorial Library or the Performing Arts Library.

Can a faculty member distribute digital copies of a book chapter through Moodle?

Yes. Most schools, libraries, and professional associations allow posting book chapters, short essays, poems, visuals, and similar components into restricted educational environments (such as Moodle). However, there is more scrutiny placed on digital copies of copyrighted works. Major universities suggest that digital copies of book chapters be used no more than one semester. Faculty members are expected to follow basic guidelines:

  1. Copyright notice and bibliographic citations must be included in the copies
  2. The ownership of the photocopies is transferred to the students
  3. The faculty member must not charge the students
  4. No more than 10% of the book may be copied and distributed

Is there a limit on how many original copies of a book a faculty member can place on reserve at Frazar Memorial Library?

Yes. Faculty can place up to three original copies of a book on reserve. More than three copies affects the market monopoly of the copyright holder, even if the book is out-of-print. The law prohibits photocopying an entire book and placing the photocopy on reserve. However, exceptions can be made for fragile and archival works where access to the original copy is restrictive. Major universities allow for only one photocopy of a book to be placed on reserve under such circumstances. If the university holds the copyright ownership of a book, then these restrictions do not apply.

Can a faculty member scan an out-of-print book and place the scan into Moodle?

This is a grey area and untested in the courts. Even major universities are reluctant to establish guidelines. It appears that as long as the book is out-of-print and not in the public domain (published prior to 1923) it may be permissible to post a digital copy into Moodle because of restricted access to enrolled students. However, such a practice is generally discouraged.

Can a faculty member copy and distribute journal articles from a journal to which Frazar Memorial Library does not have access?

Yes. Faculty can distribute copies in a face-to-face classroom setting or in Moodle with the following restrictions:

  1. There must be restricted access (i.e., enrolled students only)
  2. There cannot be a systematic copying of the journal
  3. The faculty member may not distribute more than five different articles from the same journal for the preceding five years.


Faculty should consult with their library liaisons about securing access to the journal. The laws are flexible with regards to individual journal articles. But being able to provide links to library-subscribed content protects everyone.

Can a faculty member scan a copy of a textbook and post it into Moodle?

No. Even out-of-print textbooks cannot be copied in total. Distributing copies affects the market monopoly of the copyright holder. Faculty can place up to three original copies of a textbook on reserve at Frazar Memorial Library, the Curriculum Center, or the Performing Arts Library. The items must be cleared from the reserve shelves each semester. The Circulation Department will consult with faculty on whether to return the book(s) or keep them on reserve for the following semester.
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (1998) and the TEACH Act (2002) allow educators to copy or scan “small and reasonable portions” of books for educational use. These protections are typically limited to non-textbooks. However, these laws do allow for some reproduction of material from most books, including textbooks. This includes scenarios, graphics, problem-solution exercises, and small essays. The 1976 Copyright Act’s 10% rule is definitely in effect. If a faculty member pursues this option, they need to be careful with all copyright guidelines:

  1. There must be restricted access (enrolled students)
  2. Copyright disclosure and bibliographic citation need to be displayed
  3. There cannot be a systematic copying of the textbook. The 10% rule rigidly applies: 10% or one chapter – whichever is shorter.
  4. Faculty should only use a portion of a textbook no more than a single semester without securing copyright permissions.


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