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Copyright @ UW-River Falls

Have questions about copyright? Check out this guide.


Section 108 of the U.S. Copyright Law governs the kinds of copying that generally occurs in a library. Section 108(g)(2) specifically addresses interlibrary loan; it allows libraries to place requests for materials, but not in “such aggregate quantities as to substitute for a subscription.”

Guidelines published by CONTU (Conference on New Technological Uses of Copyright Works) quantify the phrase “such aggregate quantities” and are generally accepted as reasonable by the library and publishing community. The guidelines establish the number five as key when determining what aggregate quantities of copies would exceed fair use guidelines. The guidelines allow five filled copies from the current five years of a copyrighted title during a single year.

The UW-River Falls Library follows section 108(g) of the Copyright Law and the CONTU guidelines when acting as both a responder and a requester in state and national interlibrary loan networks.

Copyright Procedures

Library as requester of a copy of an article or a small part of another work:

  • All interlibrary loan request forms completed by faculty, staff, and students carry the following notice of copyright:

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyright 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 copy becomes the property of the patron.
  • The library indicates compliance with copyright law (CCL) or compliance with copyright guidelines (CCG) on all copy requests sent to other libraries.
  • The library tracks requests for all copies and performs a fair use analysis if requests for copies from any particular work exceed the CONTU suggestion of five. The library will pay royalties on any copy that exceeds CONTU guidelines and does not pass a fair use analysis.
  • The library will not process interlibrary loan requests for patrons if staff become aware that requested materials will be further reproduced in multiple copies and redistributed without the payment of appropriate royalties.
  • The library maintains records of all requests for three years.     

Copyright Procedures

Library as Responder to requests for copies of articles or a small part of another work:

  • The library does not have the responsibility for monitoring compliance with copyright law when responding to requests from other libraries.
  • The library will not process requests for copies unless the requesting library has included the appropriate statement indicating compliance with copyright law (CCL) or compliance with copyright guidelines (CCG).
  • The library will provide copies of articles obtained from leased online resources unless prohibited by the signed lease agreement.