Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States (title 17, U.S. Code) to the authors of “original works of authorship." Section 108(f)(1) of the copyright act gives libraries protection from copyright infringement when a library user uses unsupervised "reproducing equipment" in the library, as long as the library displays a notice that the making of a copy may be subject to copyright law. (The user of the machine is responsible for any infringement.)
The statute does not define "reproducing equipment." Libraries have traditionally posted the notice on photocopiers; however, it is wise to post the notice on all unsupervised photocopiers, as well as all VCRs, microfilm printers, computers, printers, scanners, and any other equipment that is capable of making copies.
The commonly posted form of the notice is:
- Notice : The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. The person using this equipment is responsible for any infringement.