Skip to Main Content

Copyright Guide for DVC Faculty

This research guide is intended to let faculty know the basics about copyright and fair use, and how it applies to their course materials.

What is a Coursepack/Reader?

A coursepack/reader is a collection of articles, chapters, or other works sold to students.

Coursepacks which compile readings into an anthology are recommended when more than nine items need to be distributed to students during a semester.

All copyrighted materials reproduced in coursepacks require copyright permission and/or payment of fees.


Guidelines for Coursepacks

SCENARIO: A professor copies excerpts of documents, including copyrighted textbooks and journals, from various sources. The professor plans to compile the readings into a coursepack/reader to sell or distribute to students.

FAIR USE?: Generally speaking, you need to obtain copyright permission before reproducing copyrighted materials for an academic coursepack. "Fair Use" does not apply to coursepacks. It's the instructor's obligation to obtain clearance for materials used in class.

Question: What are the alternatives to coursepacks?

Answer: Use electronic reserves or distribute the articles individually to students. However, you may only have nine instances of copying per semester per course.

Credit: California State University, Long Beach. "Copyright & Fair Use for Faculty: Common Scenarios."