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Copyright at the MSU Library

General guidelines for copyright

Montana State University

Information in this Library Guide is for general information only.  For legal advice, MSU Legal Counsel also has a website for Guidelines for Classroom Copying of Books and Periodicals.

Interlibrary Loan and Copyright

Interlibrary loan staff at Montana State University's Library checks ILL requests for copyright compliance whether the article is borrowed from another library or is provided from the library's collections.

  • In compliance with Section 108, Title 17 of the Copyright Act, copyright records must be retained for 4 years (current year + previous 3) to include the journal information, patron, institutional affiliation, and date of request.

Copyright Act Section 108 of Title 17

Section 108 of the Copyright Act is entitled "Limitations on exclusive rights: Reproduction by libraries and archives".  Subsection 108(g)(2) specifically addresses copies relating to interlibrary loan.  Guidelines indicate that the following must be adhered to:

  • the copy becomes the property of the requestor for private study, scholarship or research purposes, thus being liable for copyright compliance
  • include Copyright Notice provided from the original work
  • limited to a single copy, no further reproduction or distribution permitted

CONTU (Commission on New Technological Uses) Guidelines

"The CONTU guidelines were developed to assist librarians and copyright proprietors in understanding the amount of photocopying for use in interlibrary loan arrangements permitted under the copyright law."  These guidelines utilize Fair Use limits as it pertains to interlibrary loan borrowing.  The CONTU guidelines allow the MSU Library to borrow 5 articles from any one periodical title within 5 years of its publication from another library during the current calendar year.  If a journal title exceeds that limit, alternate processes are used:

  • Pay royalty fees to the Copyright Clearance Center
  • Purchase
  • Cancel the request
  • Wait for a new calendar year when the limit for that title is reset

Contact Information for Interlibrary Loan

Phone:  406-994-3161