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Copyright Resources

This page contains resources suggested by the Copyright Awareness Team

Practical Steps

If you are looking for practical measures to ensure you’re compliant with copyright, here are some suggestions.

Step Rationale

Use links - not PDFs - to direct students to an article.

Linking to the article ensures copyright compliance and enables usage tracking (both for Rush and for the publisher).    As long as the article is from resources to which we subscribe, the students will be able to follow that link and immediately access the article needed.

Posting a PDF could violate the rights of the copyright holder.


Check copyright on articles/books that you've written You may not own copyright to articles you have written.  Check the agreement you signed with the publisher. 

Don't rely exclusively on Fair Use

Fair Use does NOT provide blanket protection for academic use.  For more information, look for our Fair Use guide under Licensing and Access in the left-hand menu.

If you find it posted online, even though it's not supposed to be, you cannot use it If someone else posts something they do not have the rights to, they are in violation of copyright law.  Their mistake does not allow you to continue the copyright infringement.

Remember that online doesn’t mean “free”

The same copyright rules apply to online materials as printed or recorded.  Simply because content is online does not mean it is free from copyright protection. 
Limit e-reserve materials to small excerpts Most experts advise using a single article or chapter, or less, of a copyrighted work.
Remember that “first semester free” is not valid The “first use is free” standard invoked by many libraries (never endorsed by RUMC) is not part of the Copyright Act or any subsequent rulings or agreed-upon guidelines.
Get permission before posting Secure copyright permissions prior to posting content.
Refresh your materials every semester and remove expired e-reserves promptly If you had to obtain permission to use an article, the permission granted probably applied to that one semester only. Make sure you take down (or remove access to) copyrighted e-reserve content for a particular class when the term concludes.  
Include copyright notices Materials on e-reserve should contain both the copyright notice from, and a complete citation to, the original material as well as a clear caution against further electronic distribution.

More on E-Reserves

Maps and Directions