Last Updated: Sep 19, 2023     Views: 208

The short answer is: it depends. 

The Claremont Colleges Library adheres to the library best practices regarding Copyright and Fair Use and recognizes the importance of Fair Use to teaching.

We recommend that it is in your best interest to first attempt to procure a legal copy of materials to provide to students in your courses. The library provides legal copies can come from an institutionally subscribed or licensed resource, or you could get permission from the author or copyright holder.  Other ways you might consider are purchasing an education copy, finding materials in the public domain, or using a resource that has a Creative Commons license.

Your Subject Librarian can help you identify and acquire e-books for course materials if one is available for the library to purchase. If the titles you want to use are available in the library's online collections we advise you to provide a link to the materials using the permanent URL. Read more about using Permalinks in Sakai or Canvas.

In many cases there may not be an e-version of the materials you want to use. This is especially common for textbooks as a significant portion of textbook publishers do not provide electronic purchasing options for libraries. Textbook publishers make their profits by selling e-textbooks directly to students and therefore don't provide an option for the library to purchase e-versions.

If your textbook or course materials are not available in e-versions, you still have several options. Under Fair Use and the TEACH Act (especially for online courses) you may scan or copy a "reasonable or limited" portion of the textbook or materials for your course and your students (either an online scan or printed out hard copy).   

You can post copies of scanned materials (under the Teach Act Section 108) in the following manner:

  • Copy and share what you think is a limited amount of the copyrighted work
  •  Share the materials on a system that is only accessible to students enrolled in your class (i.e. via Sakai or Canvas, Box, Google Drive)
  • Somewhere in the system that you store the materials provide a notice to students that: "The materials on this course web site are only for the use of students enrolled in this course for purposes associated with this course and may not be retained or further disseminated."

For further information or support, please contact your Subject Librarian.


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