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About the National University Library, its services, staff, and available resources

Fair Use of Copyrighted Material

The Northcentral University Library is committed to compliance with intellectual property law and the preservation of the rights of copyright owners and users of copyrighted materials. The Library strives to inform all its constituencies of the rights and responsibilities under the fair use provisions of the Copyright Act (17 U.S.C. Section 107).

  • Fair use applies to the digital environment without regard to the medium of the original work.
  • Fair use does not supersede licensed resources, unless the terms of controlling agreements specifically defer to U.S. Copyright Act 17 U.S.C. Section 107.
  • Fair use depends on a case-by-case examination of facts surrounding each case, and the four factors identified in U.S. Copyright Act 17 U.S.C. Section 107:
    1. The purpose or character of the use; including whether such use is of a commercial nature or for nonprofit educational purposes
    2. The nature of the copyrighted work used.
    3. The amount and substantiality of the work being used.
    4. The effect of the use on the market for or value of the original work.

The Library works to comply with the Fair Use Guidelines and the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S. Code) regarding photocopied materials. The copyright law of the United States governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted materials. Under certain conditions specified by the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be “used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship or research.” If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of “fair use,” that user may be liable for copyright infringement. Northcentral University reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law.

Students should refer to the Acceptable Use of Information Technology policy for additional policies and procedures related to copyright infringement – including Peer-to-Peer (P2P) file sharing – institutional sanctions for student misconduct, and violations and penalties for copyright infringement under federal law.

NU Library Copyright Services and Guidelines Policy

NU Library Copyright Services and Guidelines

Faculty are strongly encouraged to use the Library or open source resources with commons licensing allowing educational use or scholarly open access journals. However, for academic readings or other materials needing copyright permissions, the Library staff can assist faculty in obtaining permission from the copyright holder. Note: Copyright Law requires that proper permissions be obtained or fees be paid for use of intellectual work.

  • Copyright requests can be submitted to the Library by using the Copyright Request Form.

  • Items requiring copyright permission should be identified prior to the course start date. Items in the public domain or that have Creative Commons licensing may not require permissions

  • Copyright requests should be limited to:

    • one chapter from a book

    • one article from a journal issue or newspaper

    • multiple excerpts from a single book or journal issue not to exceed 10% or more of the total page length

    • a short story, essay, or short poem, a chart diagram, drawing, graph, cartoon, or picture.

  • The Library will not bear any costs associated with copyright requests. Requestor will be notified of any fees. Copyright fees for resources must be approved and paid for by the faculty member’s curriculum director (CD).

NOTE: the Library reserves the right to refuse any copyright permission request.

The Library is committed to compliance with intellectual property and copyright laws. The Library strives to inform all constituencies of the rights and responsibilities under the provisions of the U.S. Copyright Act:

Handling Materials Obtained by Permission

To ensure proper use of items for which copyright has been obtained and royalties paid, the requestor or a member of the Instructional Design (ID) team must:

  • Place work in a password protected area that is accessible to only those students and faculty covered by the permission or license.

  • Present work in full citation and clearly indicate compliance with US Copyright Law (Title 17, USC). For example, NOTICE: This material is protected by Copyright Law (Title 17 U.S. Code).

  • Remove when copyrighted - readings are no longer needed for the course.






  1. Locate and verify bibliographic information for resource

  1. Verify that the resource is or is not available through the Library. Librarians are available for assistance.
  1. A: If resource is available, then contact Instruction Designer (ID) to include this resource in the syllabus.

B: If resource is not available, fill out Library Copyright Request Form.

  1. If permission is required and obtained, Requestor will provide School Curriculum Director with copy of granted copyright permissions for record keeping


  1. Review Copyright Request Form for completion; verify availability of copyright options

IF permissions can be obtained:

THEN: contact faculty with information concerning copyright permissions.

IF permissions are not available or fees applicable,

THENcontact faculty to discuss alternative options, or faculty can request approval to purchase from Curriculum Director

Curriculum Director (CD)

  1. For obtained copyright permission(s)

CD will maintain documentation of granted copyright use for future reference, as well as pay any annual recurring fees if applicable

5/29/2015 -  Office of the Registrar -  © 2015 Northcentral University