Copyright for course materials

The use of copyrighted materials for instructional purposes must be done in compliance with U.S. copyright law. 

See also UA Libraries copyright guide

Copyright tutorial: self-paced interactive tutorial

Access to materials

The University's online course management systems, D2L, and ArizonaMed may be used to access course readings. Access is password-protected and restricted to faculty and students associated with the course.

Fair use analysis

Decisions to place copyrighted material in D2L or Arizona Med should be made using the fair use doctrine embodied in Section 107 of the U.S. copyright law (17 U.S.C. § 107). The following four-factor analysis outlines the libraries' general fair-use assessment. 

#1: The purpose and character of the use.

Example: Support of nonprofit education.

#2: The nature of the work to be used.

Example: Factual vs. creative works

#3: The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the materials as a whole.

Example: Amount used is appropriate and necessary for serving your research or educational purpose.

#4: The effect of the use on the market for or value of the work.

Examples: Access to electronic content in course is restricted to students enrolled in the course and is terminated at the end of the course.

Strategies for copyright compliance

The electronic and print collections of AHSL and the UA Libraries are purchased for the nonprofit educational use of students and faculty and are acquired with the understanding that there will be multiple uses of a limited number of copies.   

  • Whenever possible, generate a direct link to an electronic resource that is in the collections of AHSL and UA Libraries to avoid making and storing additional copies of the material.

  • AHSL generally recommends that copyright permission be sought when:

    • The material is not owned or licensed by UA Libraries or AHSL and is being used by the same instructor for the same course for more than one semester.

    • The amount of material used from a book or single journal issue exceeds what is deemed to be within Fair Use.

  • Use works that are in the public domain.

  • It is the instructor's responsibility to obtain written permission from the copyright holder when the material does not fall within the Fair Use Guidelines.

  • Materials should not be used to create, or to replace or substitute for anthologies, compilations or collective works.

  • Copyrighted materials that are needed for immediate, spontaneous use may be placed on reserve while a good faith effort is made to lawfully acquire the material. Such items may not be re-used in subsequent semesters without permission.

  • Copyrighted materials used in course reserve must be legally owned in their original format or licensed by one of the following

    • AHSL, UA Libraries, UA Law Library

    • a University of Arizona department

    • the course instructor

Examples of permitted materials

  • Entire works or sections of works that are in the public domain.

  • Entire works or sections of works by the U.S. government.

  • Entire works or sections of works licensed by the libraries at the University of Arizona.

  •  Portions of books, journal issues, and other print resources that meet a reasonable determination of fair use. (See Fair use analysis)

  • Instructor's notes, quizzes, tests, and other materials created for course instruction by the instructor.

  • Other materials for which the instructor holds the copyright.

  • Copyrighted materials for which the instructor has obtained appropriate permission.

  • Amounts of materials limited to those normally required as course assignments.