Skip to Main Content

Copyright and Fair Use

SHU Copyright Policies

Placing Materials on Reserve

Course Reserves 

The University Library makes reserve materials available in two formats:

1. traditional reserve in hardcopy through the Reserve Desk

2. electronic reserve. All e-reserves can be accessed under the LibGuides tab in Blackboard

Course Reserves request form

If a professor owns the book and plans on bringing it over to the library for reserve use then please indicate so. The library orders books we do not own. But we do not want to purchase books for reserves that are not necessary.

The Libraries’ course reserves system supports the educational needs of our students by providing the best available access to specific course-related materials designated by the teaching faculty.

The University Libraries makes reserve items searchable, and electronic items accessible, through the library catalog and the course reserves service.

The University Libraries follows the Fair Use guidelines when placing materials on reserve.

All material submitted for reserve must be copies in the possession of the University Libraries, a faculty member, or some other unit of the university.

The library reserves the right to return material and/or refuse reserve requests that do not comply with Fair Use guidelines unless the faculty member provides written permission from the legal copyright holder to place an item on reserve.

Use of course reserves is limited to currently enrolled Seton Hall University students and currently employed faculty for educational, non-commercial purposes.

Materials that may be placed on reserve

Any required, recommended, or supporting materials for a course offered by Seton Hall University may be placed on reserve for the semester in which the class is offered.

The University Libraries provide access to reserve materials in two formats:

1. Electronic materials (pdf copies of a journal article, link to an e-journal article, link to an e-book, pdf copy of a chapter, etc.) that is accessible through the University Libraries’ Course Reserves service.

2. Physical items (e.g. print books, audio-visual materials, software, study manuals and other print materials) at the circulation desk, located on the main floor of Walsh Library. Physical reserve items for the Seminary library are located in the Seminary Library office.

The information stored in the e-reserves database is protected under the Copyright Laws of the Unites States (Title 17 U.S. Code) governing the making of photocopies of copyrighted material. While the provisions of "fair-use" apply, the person using the system is liable for any infringement of copyright.

Seton Hall University Libraries comply with copyright law (U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, 90 Stat 2541). When copying material for course reserve, the University Libraries follow provisions of the "fair use" section (Section 107) and considers the factors laid out in that section:

  • The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes.
  • The nature of the copyrighted work.
  • The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole.
  • The effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyright work.

Copying for Classroom Use

Copying of copyrighted materials for student learning and research use without written permission may occur in the following instances:

Single copying for teachers

Single copies may be made of any of the following by or for teachers at their individual request for scholarly research or use in teaching or preparation to teach a class:

  • One chapter from a book;
  • An article from a periodical, journal, or newspaper;
  • A short story, short essay, or short poem, whether or not from a collective work;
  • A chart, graph, diagram, drawing, cartoon, or picture from a book,periodical, or newspaper.

Multiple copies for student learning use

Multiple copies (not to exceed more than one copy per student in a course) may be made by or for the teacher giving the course for student learning use or discussion; provided that the following three criteria are met:

  • The copying meets the tests of brevity and spontaneity (as defined below).
  • The copying meets the cumulative effect test (as defined below).
  • Each copy includes a notice of copyright. An example is "this material may be protected by Copyright law (title 17, US Code)."


Brevity: Either a complete article, story or essay of less than 2,500 words, (usually varies 3-8 pages depending on size of page and type) or an excerpt from any prose work of not more than 1,000 words or 10 percent of the work, whichever is greater.

Spontaneity: The copying is at the instance and inspiration of the individual teacher, and the inspiration and decision to use the work.The moment of its use for maximum teaching effectiveness are so close in time that it would be unreasonable to expect a timely reply to a request for permission.

Cumulative effect: Copying of the material is for only one course in the school in which the copies are made.