Library Reproduction Requests
NOTE: The following page is draft only in preparation for launching new forms and procedures related to requesting copies of works from CUL collections.
Researchers and other users of Columbia University Libraries often need copies of materials from CUL collections.
- If you are seeking permission to make uses of materials found in CUL collections, please read the Publication & Digital Reproduction Policy & Procedures.
- If you are requesting that CUL staff make copies of materials from the CUL collections on your behalf, please follow the Reprographic Services & Fees procedures by completing and submitting an order form.
The order form to request copies includes a list of four possibilities for addressing relevant copyright issues. The following information summarizes each option and points to additional resources to help you make an informed response.
1. The user has permission from the copyright owner for reproduction of this work.
- For information about locating copyright owners and seeking permission, click here.
- Submit documentation about permission with your order form.
- Creative Commons licensing or other published statements by the copyright owner may in some instances be a satisfactory form of permission.
2. The user is requesting copies of works that are in the public domain.
- Copyrights last many years, but eventually they expire and works enter the public domain. The fact that the work may be accessible to the public (even available on the web), or that the work lacks a copyright notice, does not mean that it is in the public domain.
- Review this general chart summarizing the expiration of copyrights.
- See also this more detailed chart.
- Read this explanation of copyright duration and a summary of other types of works that may be in the public domain.
3. The user is requesting a single copy of each work, and the request may be consistent with the “private study” exception in copyright law.
- A provision (Section 108) of the U.S. Copyright Act authorizes the library to make copies of certain works from the collections for library users.
- For information about the “private study" exception, click here.
- Complete and submit with your order form the information checklist (PDF).
4. The user is making a request that is within fair use.
- A provision (Section 107) of the U.S. Copyright Act authorizes the public to make limited “fair uses” of copyrighted works based on a balancing of four factors.
- Complete and submit with your order form a copy of the Fair Use Checklist.
- Even in cases where the library service of providing a single copy is within fair use, users should consider independently whether their subsequent uses are also within the limits of the copyright exception.
When making use of this page under the terms of the CC license, please include this form of attribution: "Used under a Creative Commons BY-NC license from the Copyright Advisory Office of Columbia University, Kenneth D. Crews, director." If your needs for the material are outside the scope of the license, please consider fair use or simply asking us for permission.