Column Editor: Laura N. Gasaway (Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill School of Law, Chapel Hill, NC 27599; Phone: 919-962-2295; Fax: 919-962-1193)

QUESTION:  An interlibrary loan librarian in an academic library has received requests to photocopy a chapter instead of sending the book.  If it is just a chapter from a book that the library owns, does the library own the copyright?  Must the library pay copyright fees in order to supply the requested copy?

ANSWER:  The library does not own the copyright just because it purchased a copy of the book; the author or publisher owns the copyright.  However, Section 108(d) of the Copyright Act permits libraries to make single copies of articles, book chapters, etc., at the request of a user if the copy becomes the property of the user, and the library displays prominently where the orders are placed and on the order form a notice about copyright.  Further, libraries may provide copies of the same to borrowing libraries through interlibrary loan if the borrowing library makes the appropriate CONTU ILL guidelines certifications.  So, under these conditions, there is no problem with reproducing book chapters for interlibrary lending.

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