Skip to main content


This guide is informational and in no way constitutes legal advice.


These are the general guidelines for placing documents or scanned PDFs in a course management system:

1. Clearly, if you are the copyright holder on your own scholarly work and any original teaching materials you have created you may post it freely. If however, you have published an article in a journal or magazine it is likely the publisher became the legal copyright holder when you signed the publication agreement.

2. Providing a link to something on the open web or providing a link to an article in one of the library's databases is fine. Linking is always preferable to reproducing.

3. Posting works in the public domain is also fine.

4. Your usage is spontaneous, integral to the lesson, and immediate. Meaning you didn't have time to seek out permissions, used it once for one class, and are not a repeat offender.

5. The usage is small and does not serve as a replacement for purchase:

a. 1 article, essay, or story less than 2,500 words

b. No more than 10%  or 1,000 words (whichever is less) of a prose work

c. 1 poem of 250 words or less

d. One chart, graph, diagram, drawing, cartoon or picture per book or per periodical issue

6. The material is posted on a password protected system, only available to students currently enrolled in the course and only online for the duration of that course iteration.

7. You, the library, or the institution hold a lawfully acquired copy.

8. The copyright notice is clearly labeled and the full citation is provided.


*As with fair use, these guidelines should be weighed together.


These Are The Clear No's:

"Copying shall not:

a. substitute for the purchase of books, publishers’ reprints or periodicals;

b. be directed by higher authority;

c. be repeated with respect to the same item by the same teacher from term to term."


Obtaining permission




Should your intended use exceed Fair Use the CCC is a service to help you search for and obtain permissions.