Back-up Copies of Leader Guides

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  • Hello All, I manage a non-profit faith-based Media Center. Most of our collection is DVD-based curriculum. Many of these resources come with little leader's guides that can be anywhere from 1 to 50 pages. My predecessor made back-up paper copies of many of these leader guides. I would like to make back-up PDF copies, and originally, I wanted to post them online for our users. Our users are church members all over the state. Though church members can borrow our resources for free, others can rent our resources but it is rare that we get those requests. I read about fair use but am still unsure what is ok and what is not.

    1. Purpose - Use by religious groups associated with a church almost exclusively. Copies are made for the purpose of replacement if leader guide becomes lost or damaged. I wanted to make them available online for download but I don't think that would pass copyright law.

    2. Nature - Published religious curriculum

    3. Amount - The full leader guide but not the major content that is the video. The leader guide has little value without the video.

    4. Effect - I want to make the copy to avoid having to buy the entire curriculum again just because we lost the leader guide. We did buy it once, but the effect is that we won't buy it again.

    From what I've read, the recommended course of action according to the law is that we are not allowed to make a back-up copy on paper or in PDF unless we have permission to make copies or it is not copyrighted. If we lose a leader guide, we should try to contact the publisher for replacement. If that fails, we can borrow the resource through ILL and then make a replacement copy of the leader guide. Does that sound right? Do the laws about first sale and e-reserves help me at all here?
  • You thinking is right on target. It may not be logical, but that it the law. First sale and ereserves does not apply. You cannot copy the entire guide and post it online--this would be a violation.

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