General Guidelines for The Use of Photocopies & Reproductions From Our Collections

General Guidelines for The Use of Photocopies & Reproductions From Our Collections


Materials made available for research in person or presented on Latino Oral History Project of Rhode Island (Nuestras Raíces) website are provided under the authority of Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act which provides for fair use. Fair use permits the reproduction of works without the permission of the copyright owner in certain situations. Reproduction beyond fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owner.

It is the patron’s obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions when reproducing materials from the Latino Oral History Project of Rhode Island archives/collections. In addition to copyright, some materials presented in these collections may be subject to the terms of gift or purchase agreements, donor restrictions, publicity rights, privacy rights, licensing and trademarks.
Publicity and Privacy Rights
Privacy and publicity rights are separate bodies of law from copyright. Where copyright protects the copyright owner’s property rights in a work, privacy and publicity rights protect the interests of the subject of a work (such as the person who is depicted in a photograph). Issues of privacy and publicity may arise when a researcher contemplates the use of letters, diary entries, photographs or content in visual, audio, and print formats often found in library collections.
  • Privacy and publicity rights are governed by state laws and vary state-by-state.
  • Many states have privacy and/or publicity laws, while others do not recognize such rights.
  • Some states address comparable rights under other state laws or common law legal theories such as misappropriation and false representation. What may be permitted in one state may not be permitted in another.
  • Note also that related causes of action may be pursued under the federal Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1125 (a), for example, for unauthorized uses of a person’s identity in order to create a false endorsement.
Keep in mind that while ‘fair use’ is a defense to copyright infringement, it is not a defense to claims of violation of privacy or publicity rights.
While an individual’s right to privacy generally ends when the individual dies, publicity rights associated with the commercial value connected with an individual’s name, image or voice may continue. Many estates or representatives of famous authors, musicians, actors, photographers, politicians, sports figures, celebrities, and other public figures continue to control and license the uses of those figures’ names, likenesses, signature or other aspects of one’s persona that may have commercial value.

Under the First Amendment of the US Constitution which protects freedom of speech, the use of a work to comment on a matter of public interest is less likely to trigger liability than use in advertising or for other commercial purposes. Yet risk may still exist if the person depicted is held up to ridicule or presented in a libelous manner.

Patrons desiring to use materials must make their own decision as to privacy or publicity rights that may be implicated by the nature of the materials and the proposed use. Keep in mind that such clearances are separate from any necessary copyright clearances.
More …
Fair Use Guidelines
The Fair Use provision, established in the Copyright Act of 1976, is designed to allow the limited use of copyrighted works for the purpose of criticism, comment, teaching, scholarship and research. It allows limited reproduction of copyrighted works for educational and research purposes without prior authorization of the copyright holder and without paying royalty fees.
Section 107 of the United States Copyright Act lists four factors used to determine when content usage may be considered “fair use.” For a finding of fair use, all four factors do not need to be affirmative, and no single factor trumps the other factors.
  1. The purpose and character of the use, including whether the copied material will be for nonprofit, educational, or commercial use. Also considered here is the transformative nature of the use.  For example, was the material used in a way significantly different than was originally intended (e.g. criticism or instruction), or was something created that was significantly different than the original material.
  2. The nature of the copyrighted work, with special consideration given to the distinction between a factual work and a creative work. For example, photocopies made of a newspaper or news magazine column are more likely to be considered fair use than copies made of a musical score or a short story.
  3. The amount, substantiality, or portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole. This factor requires consideration of:
  4. the proportion of the larger work that is copied and used the significance of the copied portion
  5. The effect of the use on the potential market of the copyrighted work. If the reproduction of a copyrighted work reduces the potential market and sales and therefore the potential profits of the copyright owner, then use is unlikely to be found a fair use. For example, a teacher who photocopies a workbook page or a textbook chapter is depriving the copyright owner of profits more directly than if copying one page from the daily paper. This factor has recently held more weight in determining fair use.

Please note that if a specific concern or question is not addressed in this guide, that does not alleviate you of the responsibility to comply with the U.S. Copyright Law.
More …


When photocopies or digital reproductions are requested, the size, condition, copyright status, and donor restrictions of all materials are evaluated. Requests for reproductions may be denied if such work would damage the materials to be copied or infringe on copyright or other restrictions.

Photocopies: To request photocopies of materials from this website, please download and complete a Request for Photocopies form. The U.S. Copyright Act (Title 17, U.S.C.) authorizes libraries and archives to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction of materials under certain conditions specified in the law. Section 107 of the law states that the use of copyrighted works is not an infringement of copyright if used for “purposes such as criticism, comment, new reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research.” The Copyright Revision Act of 1976 includes the doctrine of “fair use” which covers the duplication and use of copyrighted material by educational purposes. Reproduction beyond fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners.

Digital Reproductions: If you wish to publish or broadcast materials held by the Latino Oral History Project of RI or found on its website, please download and complete a Licensing Application and submit it to the address listed below. Download a copy of the Use Fee Schedule for applicable charges.

Printed and downloaded reproductions of materials from the Rhode Island Latino Arts and Latino Oral History Project of RI websites may be used only for research, teaching, scholarship, or private study. All other uses, including publication (in print or online) and broadcast, require the written permission of the copyright holder. Materials held by the Libraries may have varied copyright or donor restrictions.

Researchers assume responsibility for identifying and satisfying any claims of intellectual property rights or copyrights and agree to exonerate, indemnify, and hold Rhode Island Latino Arts and its Trustees harmless for and on account of any and all loss, cost, damage or expense arising out of or in any way connected with the uses which the signer makes or suffers or permits to be made of the reproduced materials.


When using materials from the the Rhode Island Latino History collection/archives or website, please acknowledge by stating the name of the URL of the webpage on which it is displayed. Citations should include full bibliographic information. For example: Courtesy of the Latino Oral History Project of Rhode Island, Central Falls, RI.
Stacks Image 2656