The University of California Regents (UC Regents) do not hold the copyright to the majority of the materials held in the collection of The Bancroft Library. When copyright is not held by the UC Regents, no permission for publication/use from the Library is required or given. If you intend to publish any material found in the collection of the Library that is still protected by copyright, and you determine that your use exceeds fair use, you are required to obtain permission from the copyright holder. More information about determining copyright status, fair use, and other legal restrictions that may apply can be found below.
The Copyright & Information Policy Specialist can perform a search of the Library's files on the requested material to establish if the UC Regents hold the copyright to the material, or if there is any information about the current copyright holder that can be shared, by emailing information about your requested material to firstname.lastname@example.org. University of California employees cannot offer legal advice (e.g. whether or not your use would constitute fair use) or make a legal determination beyond if the material is © UC Regents. Any further research into copyright and other legal restrictions that may apply is your responsibility and you are solely responsible for complying with all applicable laws.
You do not need a copyright holder’s permission to publish when the intended use is "fair use" because United States copyright law contains a limited exception for certain uses such as teaching, scholarship, research, criticism, commentary, and news reporting. It is your responsibility to determine whether the intended use is a fair use. The UC Berkeley Library cannot make a fair use determination for you.
Evaluating fair use is done on a case-by-case basis for each work that you use, and rests on the following four factors. When considering these factors, keep in mind that the fair use exception is purposefully broad and flexible to promote academic freedom, expression, education, and debate. The four factors are a balancing test, each may push you in one direction or the other, but it is the sum of all four factors that will help you to determine if your use is considered fair.
|Fair Use Factor||Tip for Applying the Factor|
|The purpose and character of the use, including whether the intended use is commercial vs. for nonprofit educational purposes.||Uses in nonprofit educational institutions are more likely to be fair use than works used for commercial purposes.|
|The nature of the copyrighted work.||Distributing factual works is more likely to be fair use than doing so with creative, artistic works such as musical compositions.|
|The amount and significance of the portion used in relation to the entire work.||Copying smaller portions of a work is more likely to be fair use than larger portions.|
|The effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the original.||Uses that have no or little market impact on the copyrighted work are more likely to be fair.|
The following questions can help you weigh the outcome of those four factors:
For guidelines on what uses qualify for the fair use exception, please see:
Please keep in mind that there are several laws and policies outside of copyright that also affect publication permission.