Copyright Policy

The mission of the J. Paul Leonard Library at San Francisco State is to empower its University constituency with lifelong learning skills to identify, find, evaluate, use and communicate information in promotion of excellence in scholarship, knowledge and understanding.

It is our policy to meet this mission while operating within the spirit and letter of the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U. S. Code, Sections 101-122).

This policy addresses copyright in the context of Library services only. Faculty and students are responsible for understanding the law on copyright as it applies to all their academic endeavors. The Association of Research Libraries maintains a website with copyright resources for teaching faculty. It focuses on key portions of the copyright laws that pertain to universities, including "fair use" (section 107), the Teach Act (section 110), and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Document Delivery & Interlibrary Loan

Items Sent to Other Libraries

  1. Interlibrary Services attaches notice of copyright restrictions for articles copied at the request of other libraries.
  2. Unpublished theses and dissertations require written permission of the author or copyright owner to be copied.
  3. Theses and dissertations loaned to other libraries include a notice that the item is protected by copyright law and may not be reproduced without the author's permission.
  4. Articles will be copied or downloaded from electronic resources for other libraries only when permission is specifically granted in the license agreement.

Items Acquired for SF State Users

  1. Interlibrary Services is a registered member of the Copyright Clearance Center and reports all periodical copying in excess of "fair use" (more than five articles copied from the same journal title in any calendar year).
  2. Notice of copyright restrictions is provided to all SF State users in the online ILLiad request system and is attached to all printed copies of articles provided to users.

Electronic Collections

Appropriate use of electronic resources purchased by the Library for use by SF State students, faculty, and staff is governed by the provisions of the contractual agreement (license) signed by the University Librarian and each provider. It is Library policy to honor license provisions regarding interlibrary loan and course readers. The completed and signed licenses are maintained in a master file and online by the Library acquisitions unit.

Media: Audio, Video & Internet

Copyright law applies to all forms of information, including electronic communications, and violations are prohibited under the SF State Acceptable Use Policy. Section 8 of this policy addresses copyright and fair use:

"Infringements of copyright laws include, but are not limited to, making unauthorized copies of any copyrighted material (including software, text, images, audio, and video), and displaying or distributing copyrighted materials over computer networks without the author's permission except as provided in limited form by copyright fair use restrictions. The "fair use" provision of the copyright law allows for limited reproduction and distribution of published works without permission for such purposes as criticism, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research. The University will not tolerate academic cheating, plagiarism or theft of intellectual property in any form.Users should be aware that the unauthorized sharing of peer-to-peer file copyrighted works, including music, pictures, and movies, is a violation of this Acceptable Use Policy. It is also illegal and may carry significant monetary and/or criminal sanctions. It is the responsibility of users who are downloading or uploading documents to make certain that they are not improperly using copyrighted works, or that they have the necessary permission of the copyright holder."

Reserve Services

  1. To ensure that all photocopied materials meet the Fair Use guidelines, faculty are expected to sign a Copyright Compliance Acceptance Form stating that they understand the requirements of copyright compliance. All copyrighted materials require full citation information prior to processing. All reserve photocopies will be stamped with a notice of copyright.
  2. Copyrighted materials may be placed on reserve for one semester without written permission, within the rule of spontaneity under the Fair Use guidelines. Copyright permission must be obtained from the lawful copyright holder for that material to be placed on reserve for any subsequent semester. Faculty Reserve Service in cooperation with the SF State Bookstore attempts to procure permissions, and pays royalties up to an authorized limit per article.
  3. The Bookstore has a Course Reader Program to ensure that SF State course readers comply with copyright guidelines. The Bookstore will obtain copyright permission if needed. Course readers produced through this program may be placed on reserve. Course readers produced off-campus without this clearance program will not be accepted for Reserve.

Self-Service Copying

A sign that states copyright restrictions is placed on or near any photocopy machine available for public use.

— Approved by the Library Management Team, 4/9/2007