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COVID-19: Library Resources and Services

UGA Libraries support the emergency online instructional efforts of our faculty.  This statement offers faculty guidance when requesting in-copyright works to be scanned for their eLC and other online course platforms. 

Copyright and Fair Use

Copyright and Fair Use Guidance During the COVID-19 Emergency 

U.S. Copyright law’s fair use provision, 17 USC 107, allows for the copying and distribution of limited portions of in-copyright materials for teaching, education, and research, and other uses. This exception to copyright law exists to support copyright’s ultimate goal -- to provide a benefit to the public itself. As such, the law certainly should permit copying portions of rights-protected works for emergency distance education under a situation like the one we face today with COVID-19.  


At the same time, however, it is important to recognize that the fair use provision itself has not changed due to COVID-19, and we do not have any clear guidance on how the current situation is legally different from normal. As such, it is wise to act prudently when using copyright-protected works today, as always.  


The fair use provision asks you to consider whether the amount you want to copy fits the reason you want to use the work. Accordingly, you should feel free to use copyright-protected materials to the extent necessary to make your classes function in a distance learning environment, but you should not engage in unrestrained copying of these works.   


Faculty are advised to limit the availability and sharing of the in-copyright materials provided to them by the UGA Libraries for the purpose of teaching only those students who are currently enrolled in the faculty member’s course. This purpose excludes the sharing of those materials provided by the UGA Libraries with any others not currently enrolled in the course.  


Students are advised to limit their use of material provided to them by their instructors only for the purpose of their own private study and should refrain from sharing with others.  


On this note, the Libraries will provide emergency scanning of print and digital materials from our collections to our faculty for their teaching needs, and to our students for their private study.  We will make reasonable efforts to provide the materials our faculty and students need to ensure that the core missions of UGA, education and research, remain continuous throughout this global crisis. 


To balance the rights of copyright owners with the needs of the University, we will restrict access to copyright-protected materials to only UGA: instructors, Teaching Assistants, and students enrolled in courses. And we will maximize the full extent of the flexible fair use standard, while complying with current law.  

 
For individual guidance on copyright and fair use, the UGA community may contact Mariann Samuel (mariann@uga.edu). 


For UGA Libraries' services, please see: https://guides.libs.uga.edu/COVID19 

 
For the USG Policy on Copyright, please see: https://www.usg.edu/copyright/