The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies and other reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in 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. San Jose State University Library Special Collections Department reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law.
The Fair-Use Statute(Section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use) Researchers may reproduce visual images from the collections by: Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified in that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include:
- The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
- The nature of the copyrighted work;
- The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
- The effect of the use upon the potential market for the value of the copyrighted work.