One article from a journal versus one chapter from an edited book

← Return to forum

  • Hi,
    I'm relatively new to the world of electronic reserves and copyright issues. I was wondering if anyone had comments about using a chapter from an edited book. I do not have a problem with using a chapter or so from a book which is written by one or two individuals but to me this changes when the book is made up of chapters from multiple authors. In this case, I could potentially be using the "complete work" of one author rather than a portion of a book.
    However, a journal article is really a "complete work" as well. I'd appreciate hearing how others approach this.
  • Reserves and electronic reserves are usually argued as justified by using a fair use argument. Different institutions have different policies about how much of a work they'll put on reserve, how long they'll put it on reserve, and so on.

    Generally speaking, I'd look at the TEACH act guidelines. You can't actually take advantage of TEACH for reserves (at least, I don't believe you can), but following the TEACH guidelines for digital or digitized copies generally gives you a stronger fair use argument anyway. If you use the minimum amount necessary for the class (which might be the complete work), restrict it to only the people in the class, only have it available for as long as the class needs it, and so on, I'd say you have a stronger fair use argument for using that chapter. You can look at Georgia Harper's checklist:

    That's just my opinion, anyone else?
  • I am not sure how much help the TEACH Act rules are for evaluating e-reserves, since all they say as to the amount permitted for display is that it must be "comparable to that which is typically displayed in the course of a live classroom session," and that standard seems difficult to track to the e-reserves context. But I agree wholeheartedly that e-reserves are susceptable to a fair use justification.

    The issue of whether a journal article or chapter in a multi-author book is an entire work or not has been dealt with rather inconsistantly by the courts. The principal case cited for the idea that they are whole works is American Geophysical v. Texaco, a Circuit Court case that rejected a fair use defense regarding widespread copying of articles in a corporate research facility. I think it is important to realize that in that case, three of the four fair use factors, including the purpose and character of the use, lined up agianst Texaco. It seems to me that the fair use argument for e-reserves is somewhat stronger, even if one accepts that a single journal article is a whole work rather than a portion of a larger collection. Since the purpose is educational and non-commercial, and the entire article is usually the minimum amount that can accomplish that purpose, I think the situation is distinguishable from Texaco.

Posting to the forum is only available to users who are logged in.

← Return to forum