Faculty Affairs

Coursepacks and Copyright Regulations

As you continue to prepare class materials for distribution during the spring semester through Blackboard or photocopying, and as you make plans for Coursepacks and other class materials for the upcoming summer and fall semesters, please be reminded of the importance of complying with relevant NYU policies and procedures. This website seeks to remind you of these policies and procedures, so that you can protect yourself and NYU from the legal and financial risks associated with noncompliance.

What is a Coursepack?

A coursepack is a collection of materials bound together for class use. It may consist of articles from journals, excerpts from books, newspaper articles etc. Typically the materials come from different sources, although we do handle coursepacks that consist of an out-of-print book or a faculty member’s own class notes as well.

Ordering a Coursepack

To create a course pack, visit the NYU Bookstore's website on Creating a Coursepack. Follow the instructions on that website to download, fill out, and submit the Coursepack Order Form.

Top Things to Remember Regarding Use of Copyrighted Materials

  • NYU has adopted a Statement of Policy on Photocopying Copyrighted Materials; this Policy applies to use of copyrighted materials at NYU
    • your proposed use must either be covered by (i) one of the specific examples of permitted fair uses in the Policy or (ii) an opinion of the Office of Legal Counsel of NYU confirming that your use is a fair use or (iii) a permission from the copyright owner
    • uses of copyrighted material which do not comply with the Policy will not be protected by University indemnification in the event of a claim of copyright infringement and you could be personally liable
  • Use of copyrighted materials in coursepacks is not a fair use under the Copyright Law and NYU’s Policy; in order to comply with the law and the Policy, all coursepacks must be submitted for processing to the NYU Bookstore
  • Use of Blackboard and similar programs are covered by the Copyright Law and NYU’s Policy
  • To reduce coursepack costs to students, review your materials to see if they can be obtained for free by linking to materials already licensed by NYU’s Librarie

What is the Relevant NYU Policy?

NYU has a Statement of Policy on Photocopying Copyrighted Materials, http://www.nyu.edu/oaa/policies.html#photocopy, which applies to:

  • all use of photocopied course materials whether distributed in Coursepacks, in class or otherwise
  • all electronic materials, including materials posted on Blackboard and on an instructor’s website.

This NYU Policy permits the creation and distribution of Coursepacks only after permissions are obtained from the copyright holders of all materials.

How Do I Prepare a Coursepack in Compliance with the Policy?

To be sure that you have obtained all necessary copyright permissions for your Coursepack, you must use the NYU Bookstores. The Bookstores contract with an outside service provider to create and deliver the Coursepacks.

For more information and contact information for the Bookstores, please see go to teh following link:  http://www.bookstores.nyu.edu/faculty.services/course.packs.html. Here are a few additional facts you may find helpful:

  • The average price of Coursepacks created at the NYU Bookstores is $50. You may be able to reduce the cost of your Coursepack if the materials are already in the public domain or NYU has a licensing agreement to use them. Please see the links below to ascertain if your materials fall into one of these two categories.
  • You can also reduce the cost of your Coursepack by creating a digital Coursepack instead of a printed one.
  • Instructors will receive a free desk copy of their Coursepack.
  • The library will accept one copy of your NYU Bookstores prepared Coursepack for reserve for those students unable to purchase your Coursepack.
  • Students can conveniently obtain their Coursepacks when they purchase their text books, or they may request home delivery.

Why Can’t I Use a Local Copyshop to Create a Coursepack?

NYU has determined that local copy shops do not consistently comply with copyright law or obtain permissions for materials in Coursepacks. If you use the process provided by the Bookstores, you and NYU are assured of compliance with the law. Further, if a third party sues you or NYU for copyright infringement (see below) with respect to a Coursepack prepared using the Bookstores’ process, the third party vendor that creates the Coursepacks will indemnify you and NYU for any damages.

What is My Liability in this Process?

NYU will protect you in any legal action brought against you if you act in compliance with the NYU policy and procedures described in this memorandum including, without limitation, use of the Bookstores’ process for creating Coursepacks.

How Do These Rules Apply to Blackboard?

The Statement of Policy on Photocopying Copyrighted Materials also applies to use of materials within Blackboard.

Faculty may post to Blackboard all materials authored by the faculty member (e.g. syllabus, assignment instructions, and other materials not requiring copyright permission). If the faculty member wishes to post material owned by third parties, the Statement of Policy on Photocopying must be applied: this will result either in the Policy providing a basis to support such use or permission being obtained from the copyright holder.

A large amount of third party content has been licensed for use at NYU through the NYU Libraries and faculty may link to these licensed materials through Bobst E-reserves. The Library also has a collection of licensed electronic journals, books and other digital materials to which faculty can link.

See the link below for more information on E-reserves at NYU.

Contacts for Questions on Preparation of Classroom Materials

Within NYU Steinhardt: School Liaison is Claude Blenman, claude.blenman@nyu.edu, Director of Faculty Affairs, for Coursepack and Copyright.