Copyright Policy

for the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University Libraries and Archives

revised October 17, 2022

At the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University Libraries, we support “an integrative environment for learning which stresses intellectual challenge, open inquiry, collaborative scholarship and artistic creativity” (Faculty Handbook 1.1.3).  Robust access to and responsible use of information, including compliance with Copyright law,  are fundamental to that commitment.   Copyright helps balance the open exchange of ideas with the intellectual property rights of content creators.   

The Libraries of the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University expect that staff and patrons will respect the Copyright Laws of the United States.  Those laws include a “fair use” exception to the exclusive rights of copyright owners.  Our patrons can make fair use of copyrighted resources for teaching and research.  However, “fair use” does not equate to “free use”, even for educational purposes, and the Libraries urge our users to educate themselves on the four factors affecting fair use as identified in Section 107 of the federal Copyright Act.   The United States Copyright Office has issued guidelines for educators and librarians to aid in their decisions about copyright compliance.   The Fair Use Evaluator from Michael Brewer and the American Library Association may provide guidance in determining whether an intended use favors Fair Use.   

Four Factors That Apply to Fair Use Consideration
“In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include — 
(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
(2) the nature of the copyrighted work;
(3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work. “
— Copyright Law of the United States of America. § 107. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use

In addition to the exceptions to copyright that are defined in Section 107, the law also provides special treatment for library and archival use of copyrighted material in Section 108.   This section addresses library-specific concerns such as copying for interlibrary loan and for preservation.   It is the policy of the Libraries of the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University to work within copyright law and accompanying guidelines, and to extend their principles to new media not yet explicitly addressed by law.  

The copyright policies detailed here are for copyrighted works.   In addition, copying works in the Library collection may be more freely available if the material is in the public domain; if the copyright holder has given permission for the use; or if a contract or license agreement permits the use.   

Classroom Considerations 
Text: The safest way to comply with copyright in teaching is to not make a copy.   When the item of interest is publicly available online, simply provide a link to the reading.   Similarly, if the item is available through a Library-licensed subscription, faculty may provide a link to it in a course page.    Sometimes it is possible for the library to purchase access to multi-user ebooks of items assigned for a course. Check with a Librarian to find out what options are available.  While not binding in court, the Agreement on Guidelines for Classroom Copying in Not-For-Profit Educational Institutions provides generally accepted copying parameters with respect to books and periodicals for classroom use. 

Media: Instructors at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University may show copyrighted videos or play copyrighted recordings in their classes as long as it is for the purpose of face-to-face teaching and not for entertainment.  Some library media materials have public performance rights, which allow for more uses.    See the Libraries’ Policy on Media Performances for further information on non-academic use of media.   

Print and Digital Copy Services 
Users of print and digital copying equipment at the Libraries are reminded to comply with copyright law through this policy.  Neither library equipment nor information resources should be used to infringe the copyright of rights holders.    

Interlibrary Loan 
As noted above, Section 108 of the Copyright Law contains special provisions for Libraries, including the authorization to provide copies of materials with the understanding that the copy will not be used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research.   Our interlibrary loan service is offered under this authorization, following associated guidelines.   The Libraries’ policy, in keeping with National Commission on New Technological Uses of Copyrighted Works (CONTU) Guidelines, is to pay copyright fees when there are more than five requests for articles from a journal title over the course of a calendar year.    

Licensed Library Materials 
Much of the digital content available through the Libraries is provided under license agreements that may allow for uses outside of copyright law.  Users of licensed digital resources are still expected to limit use to non-commercial purposes, and to respect constraints on authorized access.   Users can download or print articles or other materials for education and research, email articles to other CSB/SJU users, and provide links to licensed items for course syllabi, course management systems, course web sites, and other CSB/SJU uses.   

Archives and Special Collections 
Researchers may make copies of materials in Archives and Special Collections for personal study under circumstances determined by Library staff.  The Library may restrict copying if the process of making a copy might damage the original document or artifact.  Use of copies of unpublished items in the Library’s collections is still governed by copyright.  While the Library may have legal ownership of a physical item, the ownership of the copyright stays with the rights holder unless explicitly transferred to CSB or SJU, or unless the material is in the public domain.  

Educational Resources 
For more information about copyright, we recommend the following resources. 

Copyright Tools, from the American Library Association 

Creative Commons, an organization that helps rights-holders expand access to their content 

U. S. Copyright Office, the federal office charged with administering copyright in the United States

Copyright Information & Resources from the University of Minnesota Libraries  

College of Saint Benedict
Clemens Library

37 South College Ave.
St. Joseph, MN 56374-2099

Saint John’s University
Alcuin Library

PO Box 2500
2835 Abbey Plaza
Collegeville, MN 56321

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