Sharing materials between academic libraries, whether lending or borrowing, is critical to meeting the content needs of patrons. Many interlibrary loan (ILL) transactions involve sending or transmitting materials such as journal articles and photocopies that are not returned. While U.S. Copyright law addresses non-returnables, there are some areas that still present challenges for libraries.
The Guidelines on the left column of this page explains rules and best practices for copyright issues related to Interlibrary loan.
- The “Rule of Two” – Per Section 108, libraries may provide one article,per issue, per patron in one calendar year from each journal without requesting copyright permission; you must request copyright permission and pay any applicable royalty fees for the second and subsequent copies.
- The “Suggestion of Five” for periodicals – Per the CONTU guidelines the borrowing library may receive copies of up to five articles from the last five years publication of a single periodical title (as opposed to a single issue) per calendar year. Starting with the sixth copy, copyright permission and royalty fees may be required and you must evaluate whether the copies requested would substitute for a subscription to, or purchase of, the journal.
- The “Suggestion of Five” for non-periodicals – No more than five copies of articles, chapters or other small portions of a non-periodical work may be received by a library in a given calendar year, during the entire period of copyright of the book. Starting with the sixth copy, copyright permission and royalty fees may be required. You must evaluate whether the copies requested would substitute for the purchase of the book.
* Generally, interlibrary loan materials are for personal use and research. Faculty who want to use materials received through interlibrary loan in class must follow the rules explained in "in-Class teaching" and "Online teaching" tabs in this guide.