Research Guides

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Copyright at Hamline

The United States Copyright Act of 1976 was enacted to protect the rights of authors and to promote the progress of arts and sciences. Inspired by this vision, we strive to respect copyright out of respect for our own authors and the scholarly community.  Here you can learn how to avoid misusing copyrighted materials, know when fair use applies, and get help finding worry-free resources.

Fair Use Basics

A Reminder

The easiest way to avoid copyright infringement is to not make a copy. A copy includes both a paper copy and digital copy.

Consider these best practices before making multiple copies for your class:

  1. If the article, book, or other material is available on the internet – simply provide a link to it. This applies to items freely on the web (still subject to copyright) and items purchased or licensed by the library. If you need help locating a link – ask a librarian.
  2. If you, or the library, owns the item – put it on reserve. The students can then make their own copies, if they wish.
  3. If the item is readily available for purchase, ask the students to purchase it on their own. This is no longer only available for books in the bookstore. Students can purchase/license access to articles, book chapters, and more directly from the publisher. If you need help finding an easy purchase option, ask a librarian.
  4. If you are posting a digital copy, it’s best to do it in a way that limits use to just your class. Post it in Blackboard, or some other system requiring login, and not in an e-mail or on an open web site.

Practical Resources

Find articles, book chapters, and other materials that can be used by everyone at Hamline without requiring copyright permission:
Find resources that are being widely shared without requiring copyright permission directly from the author.

How to contact publishers to get permission: