*This page is provided for informational purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice from Johnson C. Smith University

General Information

Copying of Books
It is a violation of copyright law to reproduce a copyrighted book in full unless its is done for narrowly defined preservation purposes. Rarely will anyone other than a member of the Archives staff have justification to reproduce an entire book. Instead the physical book itself must be placed on reserve at the library.

Copying of Articles
Placing a journal article on reserve for student’s academic work is permitted under the “fair use” provisions of copyright law. *However, if an article is placed on reserve perpetually or recurrently, in most cases the University must pay a fee to the copyright holder. Planned replication of full articles rarely falls under the “fair use” provisions. Unless the decision to make copies for each student in a class is “spontaneous” (i.e., very last minute), faculty should make readings available through the library’s reserve system. Copyright fees apply to material reproduced.

Types of Media
Students and faculty may incorporate copyrighted material into presentations for face-to-face, hybrid or distance education classes. The following are permissible:

  • Videos, film clips, television–Up to 10% of the whole or 3 minutes, whichever is less
  • Text materials–Up to 10% of whole or 1000 words, whichever is less
  • Music, lyrics, or music video–Up to 10%, but never more than 30 seconds from an individual musical work
  • Illustrations or photographs:
    • No more than five images from one artist or photographer.
    • No more than 10% or 15 images, whichever is less, from a collection.
  • Numerical data sets–Up to 10 percent or 2,500 fields or cell entries, whichever is less, from a copyrighted database or data table.
  • Copying of an educator’s multimedia project which contains materials used under fair use:
    • No more than two copies may be made of a project

Images Downloaded from Web Sites

Copyrighted images downloaded from Web sites may be reproduced on other Web sites or in other media with the express permission of the copyright holder. Web surfers are advised to check carefully for copyright statements on Web sites. All should assume that images of cartoon characters, corporate logos, are protected by copyright and should not be reproduced without permission. Copyright holders normally charge a fee for use of these images; payment for such fees is the user’s responsibility.

Please be advised of the following copyright policies that the James B. Duke Memorial Library abides by the following guidelines in determining the amount of material that can be legally used:

  • Poetry: (a) A complete poem if less than 250 words and if printed on not more than two pages or, (b) from a longer poem, an excerpt of not more than 250 words.
  • Prose: (a) Either a complete article, story or essay of less than 2,500 words, or (b) an excerpt from any prose work of not more than 1,000 words or 10% of the work, whichever is less, but in any event a minimum of 500 words.
  • (Each of the numerical limits stated above may be expanded to permit the completion of an unfinished line of a poem or of an unfinished prose paragraph.)
  • Illustration: One chart, graph, diagram, drawing, cartoon or picture per book or per periodical issue.
  • ”Special” works: Certain works in poetry, prose or in ”poetic prose” which often combine language with illustrations and which are intended sometimes for children and at other times for a more general audience fall short of 2,500 words in their entirety. Paragraph ”ii” above notwithstanding such ”special works” may not be reproduced in their entirety; however, an excerpt comprising not more than two of the published pages of such special work and containing not more than 10% of the words found in the text thereof, may be reproduced.
  • Course reserves: All course reserves will be removed after the last day of each semester in accordance with the above copyright regulation.* Therefore, faculty are asked to please contact their liaison librarian for assistance in locating materials for subsequent semesters.

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