University Libraries

Copyright and the University of Minnesota Libraries

In most cases, library services that involve copying or other reproduction of copyrighted materials are dependent on at least one of five conditions. Use is permitted because:

    photocopier
  1. the material is in the public domain;
  2. the copyright holder has given permission for the use;
  3. a governing contract or license agreement permits the use;
  4. the use is allowable under special provisions in the law for libraries and archives (17 U.S.C. § 108)
  5. the use is allowable as a fair use, determined on a case-by-case basis.
    (17 U.S.C. § 107)



The University Libraries' Policy on Fair Use of Copyright Works and General Principles for Fair Use in Education serve as the foundation for several Libraries service standards that affect support for teaching and research. These standards describe conditions of use and include responsibilities for the library user community that depend on user engagement and participation in decision-making regarding fair use.

Creative Commons License Unless otherwise noted, all content on the Copyright Information section of this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License.

This web site presents information about copyright law. The University Libraries make every effort to assure the accuracy of this information but do not offer it as counsel or legal advice. Consult an attorney for advice concerning your specific situation.