Reserves: Copyright Information

University Libraries, Unt Policy And Procedure Memorandum.


The University of North Texas Libraries adheres to all applicable Copyright Laws outlined in Title 17 of the United States Code and the UNT Copyright Compliance Policy.

The following outlines applicable copyright laws as they apply to faculty requests for reserve materials and the University of North Texas Libraries policy related to fulfilling faculty requests for reserve materials.

Fair Use

Section 107 of Title 17 states that a copyrighted work may be used for teaching, scholarship or research. However, four factors must be considered when relying on fair use for protection:

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

The UNT Libraries reserve the right to deny faculty reserve requests that disregard all or a portion of these factors.

the Teach Act

The Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization (TEACH) Act was signed into law by President Bush in 2002. The TEACH Act addresses the unique needs of online distance education by replacing Section 110(2) with an amended version.

The amended Section 110(2) allows for:

  1. Larger range of materials can now be transmitted for distance education.
  2. Wider area of transmission allows for students to view copyright materials from their homes and other remote locations.
  3. Brief retention of materials for use by students.
  4. Digitization of materials that are not already in digital form.

These benefits can only be enjoyed if:

  1. The institution benefiting is a government body or an accredited nonprofit educational institution.
  2. The institution must have a policy regarding copyrighted works.
  3. Informational materials accurately describing copyright and promoting copyright compliance must be furnished to faculty staff and students.
  4. Notice is given to students that materials are protected by copyright and are subject to implications of copyright laws.
  5. Only “students officially enrolled in the course for which the transmission is made” will have access to the copyright materials. Students who are no longer enrolled in the related course should not have access to the copyrighted materials.

Public Domain

Items in the public domain are not protected by copyright law. These include:

  1. Most things published by federal and state governments.
  2. Materials whose copyright has expired and no renewal has been granted.

If the material you wish to place on reserves is not in the public domain and does not qualify as fair use, it is still possible to use them for reserves. You may request a written copyright permission from the copyright holder. If you are not sure who owns the copyright you may search for this information here.

For additional copyright information, please go to our Copyright Advisory Services page.


  • Approved: 06/11/12
  • Revised: 01/12/17

License Information

This Policy: "Reserves: Copyright Information" by UNT Libraries is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.