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Copyright Policies and Guidelines

The Copyright Committee of the Division of Library and Information Resources has spent considerable time researching the implications of recent new laws affecting copyright. Below are thumbnail sketches of specific implications for CalArts. For more complete information on these laws and what we must do to conform to them, please see any of the librarians: Karen Baxter, Kathy Carbone, Brena Smith, Susan Lowenberg or Jeff Gatten.

Or read the Copyright Basics page for more information about fair use, educational exemptions, public domain, getting permission, how to copyright your art, and links to law, other guidelines and opinions. For information on the use of existing copyrighted items in one's art-making, see: Copyright and Art-making.


The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the use and reproduction of copyrighted material. Under the Fair Use provision of the Copyright Act of 1976, you are permitted to photocopy and distribute portions of copyrighted works for educational use or “private study, scholarship or research” without securing permission from the owner or paying royalties. If you use a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of fair use, you may be liable for copyright infringement.


Requests for placing copies of copyrighted material on reserve must conform to the copyright law of the United States. Faculty members must affirm that all copies have been made in compliance with the copyright law by signing the Reserve Request Form.

Moving Image

The copyright law of the United States governs the performance and display of copyrighted works. All titles in the Film & Video Library collection are copyrighted. Unauthorized use or duplication is strictly forbidden. It is assumed that all items checked-out will be used in accordance with current and standard copyright law. For more information, see: Moving Image Copyrights.

Music Scores

Emergency copying for a performance is permitted so long as replacement copies are subsequently purchased. Single copies for personal or library reserve use, other than performance of an entire performable unit (section, movement, aria, etc.) are permitted if the unit is out of print or available only in a larger work. Multiple copies of excerpts that do not comprise more than 10% if a whole work and that do not constitute a performable unit may be copied for non-performance, classroom use.

Sound Recordings

Music and non-music recordings, cassettes or disks may not be copied unless replacement recordings from a commercial source cannot be obtained at a fair price. Recording brief excerpts may be acceptable if they fall under fair use.

Slides & Digital Images

Slides and digital images may not be reproduced in any format, for any purpose, without prior agreement with the publisher, vendor or other copyright holder. It is assumed all images will be used for teaching and study purposes only. For more information, see: Slide & Digital Image Copyrights.

Licensed Databases

Legal printed copies of articles accessed by searching full-text databases are obtained by using the Print command on the web browser, through the Find menu or by pressing the Print button. Any number of copies may be printed this way and will be legal under the licensing agreements CalArts Library and SCELC have with the vendor. Copies of articles printed from databases may not be photocopied, as this violates copyright. For moreinformation, see: Database Copyrights.

Interlibrary Loan

Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be “used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research.” If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of fair use, that user may be liable for copyright infringement. This library reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law.

9/24/01; revised 7/25/05

Last edited by Jeff Gatten on Jul 02, 2012
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