Q: Do the copyright principles that apply to print materials also apply to electronic materials?
A: Yes. The principles that apply to materials posted electronically are the same as those that apply to print materials.
Link, Upload, or Print
Q: Should I link to electronic materials instead of uploading them or printing copies?
A: It is preferable to link to copyrighted materials already legally available online or in a library database.
Amount of the Work
Q: How much can I copy without permission?
A: It is generally considered safe to copy one journal article per issue and up to 10% of other intellectual properties.
Q: Have I included appropriate attribution?
A: It is important to include citations for all the works you are using on the item.
Q: Is my use a “Fair Use”?
A: Perhaps. The fair use doctrine provides for limited use of copyrighted materials for educational and research purposes without permission from the copyright owner. Whether a particular use is a “fair use” requires a case-by-case balancing of four subjective factors. Those factors include:
- The purpose and character of the use. Use for educational purposes is favored over commercial use. However, not all educational uses are fair use.
- The nature of the copyrighted work to be used. Use of a work that is factual (as opposed to imaginative) weighs toward a finding of fair use.
- The amount and significance of the portion used in relation to the entire work.
- The impact of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work. Where a work is available for purchase or license at a reasonable cost, copying a significant portion would likely weigh against fair use.
Copyright policies and guidelines
- USD Copyright policies from the Office of the General Counsel
- Not sure if that PDF is okay to give to students? Click for Electronic Reserves Copyright Guidelines
- What material can be placed in an online course? Click for Online Course Copyright Guidelines
- Click for direct access to the Copyright Clearing House (a one-stop shop for obtaining copyright permission)
Who can I contact with my copyright questions?
For assistance answering your copyright questions, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on the University of San Diego’s Copyright Guidelines, please visit: www.sandiego.edu/library/copyright/.
The University of San Diego expects all members of the University community to respect and comply with copyright law (Title 17 of the United States Code). Ignoring Copyright policies is a risk to the individual as well as the university.