What is "Reasonable Effort"?

Section 108 of the Copyright Act allows libraries to reproduce published and unpublished materials under certain conditions provided that a "reasonable effort" is made to determine that the material cannot be obtained at a fair price from other sources.

The scope and nature of a reasonable effort to determine that a copy in acceptable condition at a fair price cannot be obtained will always require recourse to commonly known trade sources, i.e., current publication lists or distributors of the specific medium. The reasonable effort will vary according to the circumstances of a particular situation. If contact information for the copyright holder is available, at least one attempt to obtain permission from the copyright holder to make the desired number of copies must be made, and this attempt should be documented. The library will request from the appropriate Copyright Office or publisher the contact information for the copyright holder.

Content in this page was used or adapted with permission from one or more institutions. Please see acknowledgements.