The library policy on reserve readings is derived from the fair use provisions of the United States Copyright Act of 1976. Section 107 of the Copyright Act expressly permits the making of multiple copies for classroom use.
Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified in that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship or research, is not an infringement of copyright.
In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include—
- 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; and
- the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.
The collections of the Howard University Libraries are purchased by the university for the nonprofit educational use of students and faculty. All library materials are acquired with the understanding that there will be multiple uses of a limited number of copies. The sole purpose of library reserves is to facilitate student access to readings for university classes.