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The LSU Libraries are committed to providing services that are in compliance with copyright law. We are also committed to helping members of our community navigate the increasingly complex and evolving world of copyright. We recognize that the library is but one place on campus where copyright issues arise, but it is a logical place for faculty, students and staff to look for direction when confronted with copyright questions. This page is intended to be a resource on issues concerning copyright. It is not intended as legal advice and should not be construed as such. It is designed to provide basic copyright information and to point to additional resources.

We seek:

  1. To ensure that library policies are in compliance with copyright law by posting appropriate copyright notices, maintaining appropriate records, keeping abreast of changes to the law and regularly reviewing library practices.
  2. To assist faculty in their efforts to comply with copyright law, especially with regard to reserves and other areas where copyright compliance, the university's teaching and research missions, and library services converge. To provide direction to faculty when their copyright concerns fall beyond the scope of expertise available in the library.
  3. To raise awareness and foster discussion of copyright issues within the LSU community. To provide students, faculty and staff with a variety of tools to address copyright concerns.

Decision Workflow

This workflow will help you determine the path and steps to follow to seek and obtain copyright permissions.

Copyright & Instruction


Faculty at LSU are to adhere to the intent and provisions of the law concerning copyrighted materials, as stated in LSU Policy Memorandum PM-17 http://www.lsusystem.lsu.edu/pdf/PM/PM-17.pdf

While various guidelines exist, we recommend that faculty look first to the actual statute, Title 17 of the U. S. Code http://www.copyright.gov/title17/, when seeking guidance about the lawfulness of photocopying copyrighted materials for classroom and research use.

There are several exceptions/limitations to the Exclusive Rights of Copyright Owners which may allow for, among other things, reproducing a copyrighted work without first getting permission from the copyright owner. These exceptions are stated in Sections 107 through 118 of Title 17. In most circumstances in which the photocopying of copyrighted materials is in question, faculty should look to Section 107, Fair Use.  http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html. Section 108 may be applicable in instances involving reproduction by libraries and archives. See also LSU Libraries Checklist for Fair Use.

Steps for faculty:
For flowchart version, see http://www.lib.lsu.edu/admin/copyright/workflow.html
  1. Determine whether the material in question is in the public domain. Items in the public domain are no longer covered by copyright and may be reproduced. Faculty may consult the chart, "When Works Pass Into the Public Domain." http://www.unc.edu/~unclng/public-d.htm
  2. If faculty determine that the material is still subject to copyright protection, consult the LSU Libraries Fair Use Checklist as a first tool to help determine whether the photocopying of the copyrighted materials is lawful under Fair Use. http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html
  3. In instances where the photocopying is determined by the faculty member to fall outside the range of Fair Use, and he/she has determined that no other exception provided in the statute applies, the faculty member should secure permission from the copyright holder or find an alternative source of content. See the "useful links" below for helpful agencies.
  4. In cases where further information or action is needed, faculty members should consult with the Associate Dean of Libraries.

Copyright & Students

LSU students are to adhere to the intent and provisions of the Copyright law and University policies.

As a user of copyrighted material, this is what you need to know: http://fairuse.stanford.edu/Copyright_and_Fair_Use_Overview/chapter9/index.html

If you have a question about about using audio, video, or music, see the Copyright Links section.

As an author of copyrighted materials, this is what you need to know: http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/

Copyright & the University

Section 512(c) of the Copyright Act provides for limitations of service provider liability relating to material online, "if the service provider has designated an agent for notification of claimed infringement by providing contact information to the Copyright Office and through the service provide's publicly accessible website."

http://appl003.lsu.edu/itsweb/securityweb.nsf/$Content/LSU/$file/FileSharing.pdf indicates that Brian Nichols, Chief IT Security & Policy Officer, is the registered DMCA agent for LSU.

- The LSU Agent for Notification of Claims of Infringement: Peter Kelleher and/or Associate Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administrative Services, Eric Monday.

- Copyright policy statement within LSU: LSU Policy Memorandum 17 http://www.lsusystem.lsu.edu/pdf/PM/PM-17.pdf

Copyright Links

Public Domain Slider: http://librarycopyright.net/digitalslider/

Section 108 Spinner: http://librarycopyright.net/108spinner/

Fair Use Evaluator: http://librarycopyright.net/fairuse/

Exceptions for Instructors: http://librarycopyright.net/etool/

Association of American Publishers The publication, Agreement On Guidelines For Classroom Copying In Not-For-Profit Educational Institutions With Respect To Books And Periodicals. http://www.publishers.org/conference/copyguide.cfm

The Center for the Study of the Public Domain at Duke Law School - The first university center in the world devoted to "the realm of material-ideas, images, sounds, discoveries, facts, texts-that is unprotected by intellectual property rights and free for all to use or build upon." http://www.law.duke.edu/cspd/

Copyright Clearance Center - The most comprehensive site when seeking permission to use copyrighted materials. They provide services for Content Users and Rightsholders. http://www.copyright.com/

Copyright Information Center - Cornell University - Includes a flow-chart, "Cornell Copyright Decision Tree", as well as online tutorials, copyright news, sample permission forms. http://www.copyright.cornell.edu/

Copyright Management Center - IUPUI - Includes copyright Quick Guide, Fair Use checklist & extensive list of Collections Rights Organizations to help secure permissions. http://www.copyright.iupui.edu/index.htm

The Copyright Society of the USAA nonprofit corporation organized in 1953 to foster interest in and advance the study of copyright law. http://www.csusa.org/

Current Copyright Legislation from the U.S. Copyright Office. http://www.copyright.gov/legislation/

Creative Commons "offers a flexible range of protections and freedoms for authors and artists. We have built upon the "all rights reserved" of traditional copyright to create a voluntary "some rights reserved" copyright. We're a nonprofit. All of our tools are free." http://creativecommons.org/

Electronic Frontier Foundation - http://www.eff.org/ "EFF is a nonprofit group of passionate people - lawyers, technologists, volunteers, and visionaries - working to protect your digital rights."

Fair Use Checklist from LSU Libraries.

How to investigate the copyright status of a work http://purl.access.gpo.gov/GPO/LPS44032 http://permanent.access.gpo.gov/websites/www.copyright.gov/www.copyright.gov/circs/circ22.pdf

MPAA - Motion Picture Association of America - http://www.mpaa.org/ Includes information about anti-piracy efforts and the MPAA's educational outreach program.

Musicunited.org - M.U.S.I.C - http://www.musicunited.org/ Music United for Strong Internet Copyright - A coalition of music associations and organizations whose goals include . . . " to encourage people to do the right thing-to let them know what's okay and what isn't; to educate fans about who really gets hurt when they steal music; to show computer users who want to download music from the Internet how to do it legally."

Public Domain Chart - Determine when a work passes into the Public Domain. http://www.unc.edu/~unclng/public-d.htm

Public Knowledge - http://www.publicknowledge.org/ "Public Knowledge is a group of lawyers, technologists, lobbyists, academics, volunteers and activists dedicated to fortifying and defending a vibrant information commons."

RIAA - Recording Industry Association of America - http://www.riaa.com/default.asp Including the latest news of RIAA's continuing campaigns against online music theft.

Stanford University Libraries - Copyright & Fair Use Extensive site including overview, primary materials, current legislation, and special section for librarians. http://fairuse.stanford.edu/

United States Copyright Office Provides the complete version of Title 17, includes factsheets and brochures, FAQs and registry information. http://www.copyright.gov/


Copyright Restrictions

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material.

Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research."

If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," that user may be liable for copyright infringement.

This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order, if in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law.


The U.S. Copyright Office has a useful FAQ. http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/

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