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The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted materials. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of the specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research." If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," that user may be liable for copyright infringement. We reserve the right to refuse a copying order if it would involve violation of the copyright law.

The Copyright Act (PL 94-553), effective January 1, 1978, provides protection for all writings from the date of creation whether or not they are formally copyrighted. The law extends copyright protection until December 31, 2002, to all unpublished works now protected under common law.

It is the researchers responsibility to consult copyright law and obtain permission for the publication of material to avoid penalties for violation of the statute. Written permission of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Archives and Special Collections or other owners of specific materials must be obtained prior to publication.

Please contact Archives staff for appropriate forms and specific information.