Skip to Main Content

Welcome to Course Reserves/E-Reserves

Information and links relating to Course Reserves

Fair Use and E-Reserves

Hunter College Libraries Copyright Policy

The U.S. federal copyright law governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Under the "fair use" provision, anyone can make limited use of copyrighted material without seeking permission. There is no specific number of words, lines, or chapters that may safely be taken without permission and all "fair use" evaluations must be done on a case by case basis. To determine whether a particular use is fair, the law requires that the following four factors be equally considered:

  • The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of 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.


Placing materials on Reserves is at the initiative of faculty solely for the non-commercial, educational use of the students. All photocopies for Reserves must be made in compliance with the "fair use" provisions of Section 107 set forth below and outlined in ARL’s Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and Research Libraries and Fair Use & Copyright @ CUNY. Materials may also be placed on Reserves if it is in the public domain or otherwise not protected by copyright, or the faculty member has received permission from the copyright holder to place the item on Reserves.

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 held liable for copyright infringement.

In support of Hunter courses, the Hunter College Libraries may maintain both a hardcopy and electronic reserve collection following the guidelines of 17 U.S.C. Section 107.

Copyright Resources

Fair Use & Copyright @ CUNY is a user-friendly web resource designed to support the CUNY community in making independent, informed decisions about copyright compliance and educational fair use. Organized by library faculty in consultation with CUNY's Office of General Counsel, it is intended to respond to recent developments in course management software, e-reserves and social networking tools.

The site has multiple links to recommended FAQs, free tutorials and other online tools.

This guide from University of Southern California Libraries offers basic information on how to use images and other non-text based materials in class presentations, papers, and theses/dissertations.