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JEFFSelects: Copyright & Fair Use

AISR Policy on Reserves

In the course of their teaching duties, faculty, staff and students of Thomas Jefferson University may wish to use copies of materials in the classroom or on instructional Web sites. Under U.S. copyright law, Thomas Jefferson University must honor the exclusive rights of copyright owners in connection with all materials used in the fulfillment of its mission, whether photocopied, posted on a University Web server, or reproduced and distributed in another medium or format. While copyright owners retain the exclusive rights, the rights are limited by the concept of fair use. Such fair use rights constitute a balance, in part, between the exclusive intellectual property rights of copyright owners and the educational or research uses of copyrighted works in a nonprofit educational setting

Guidelines Available for Determination of Fair Use

AISR adheres to generally-accepted guidelines in use by libraries throughout the United States. We use these guidelines for our own courses, and whenever we are asked to reproduce material for other Jefferson courses.

The guidelines are advisory only. If you believe that you need to use materials that are beyond the allowances in the guidelines, but that your use still falls under the definition of "fair use," we suggest that you contact Jefferson's University Counsel for a determination of what is appropriate. Many excellent resources about copyright interpretation are available online at other universities, and JEFFLINE provides links to them. Be aware, however, that matters of law are subject to interpretation, and University Counsel is the source of authoritative information for Thomas Jefferson University.

When You Need to Get Permission or Pay

If you intend to use or reproduce copyrighted material in ways that exceed fair use or other exemptions, then you are responsible for obtaining permission from the copyright holder before reproducing the material.

AISR provides a sample letter for requesting such permission, can assist you in identifying the copyright holder, and can assist you with payment of fees to the Copyright Clearance Center (CCC). However, AISR cannot provide funding for the payment of copyright fees.


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