Use of Licensed Electronic Resources

Kathryn A. Martin Library Policy

Use of Licensed Electronic Resources

Electronic resources are databases, ebooks, journals, streaming video, and other materials that exist in an online format. The Kathryn A. Martin Library provides access to these resources because current research and disciplinary methods require them. We also acknowledge that current publishing systems reflect and perpetuate systems of oppression.

Access to and use of many electronic resources provided by the Kathryn A. Martin Library are governed by licenses (i.e., contractual, legal agreements) negotiated between the library and publishers or third parties. In general, these legally binding contracts allow current UMD students, staff, and faculty to access these resources for non-commercial, educational, scholarly, or personal research purposes. Users of licensed electronic resources must observe license terms, which are summarized below. Some electronic resources have additional terms which are noted when applicable. Publishers may monitor use of electronic resources to ensure that the terms of their licenses are observed. Misuse may lead a publisher/vendor to turn off the library’s access without warning.

In using licensed electronic resources, users typically

  • make use of content as is consistent with United States copyright law, including its fair use provisions;
  • use, with appropriate credit, figures, tables, and brief excerpts from content in their own scientific, scholarly, and educational works;
  • extract and use excerpts from content for the purpose of illustration, explanation, example, comment, criticism, teaching, research, and analysis; 
  • provide hyperlinks to content from their web page(s) or online course management systems, such as Canvas.

In using licensed electronic resources, users typically may not:

  • make use of content for commercial purposes;
  • knowingly or intentionally share their U of M Internet account with others to provide access to electronic resources;
  • distribute copies of content to individuals or groups outside the University of Minnesota Duluth;
  • download and post licensed content elsewhere online, including course web sites or course reserves;
  • engage in text and/or data mining activities (e.g., downloading entire issues of electronic journals or large-scale downloading from databases to create other collections of data) without the relevant publisher/vendor’s prior written permission;
  • modify or create a derivative work of licensed content without the relevant publisher/vendor’s prior written permission, unless it has been made available under an open license that allows modification and creation of derivative works or is in the public domain;
  • download or digitally copy streaming audio or video content.

Copyright and Electronic Resources

The copying of electronic resources may be governed by both license agreements and U.S. copyright law. When electronic resources are licensed to the library, any copying and distribution is limited to the extent permitted in the license. When use of a specific electronic resource is not governed by license agreements, the provisions of U.S. copyright law, alone, control the making and distribution of copies.

U.S. copyright law (Title 17 U.S.C.) provides exceptions to a copyright owner's exclusive right to reproduce a copyrighted work. Section 107 permits fair use copying for certain purposes, including instances of non- commercial personal study, research, scholarship, and teaching. Making reproductions of copyright-protected electronic resources, even those not covered by a license agreement, requires permission from the copyright owner unless the copying qualifies as a fair use.

Copies of electronic resources made by the library for any of its users are made only to the extent allowed in the resource's license agreement or under the provisions of copyright law, Section 108. Copies made by the library under copyright law are provided to users with the understanding that they will be used only for personal study, scholarship, or research; and that they will become the property of the user and not be shared with others or reproduced for further distribution.

If you have questions or concerns about using electronic resources, we may be able to help you. Email us at [email protected].

Approved by the Library Management Team 
Date of approval: June 2022

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