Skip to main content

Copyright Compliance Guidelines for E-Reserves and Online Course Materials


Faculty and instructors are responsible for ensuring that the course materials they post online comply with copyright law. To demonstrate the highest level of good-faith compliance with copyright law when sharing electronic course materials with your students, follow these steps:

Restrict access

Access to content must be restricted to authorized users and cannot be openly discoverable on the web. Use Camino (Canvas) to share course materials because it has functions that limit access to students enrolled in a class or specifically designated by the instructor. 

Post a copyright notice

This example wording contains the basic requirements: The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the use of copyrighted materials including copying and distribution.  Fair use (Section 107) allows for limited use of copyrighted materials without the permission of the copyright owner.  Individuals using copyrighted materials in excess of fair use may be liable for copyright infringement. 

Evaluate each work for copyright compliance every quarter

Santa Clara University Library recommends five ways to share electronic course materials in order to comply with copyright law:

Credits: Content derived from and inspired by University of Washington's Step-by-Step Guide to Copyright Compliance