What is it?

Copyright and clearing copyright is an everyday part of the ILL process for article requesting. Knowing, understanding, and complying with the CONTU guidelines is an integral part of ILL.

The most important guideline for borrowing is the “Rule of Five,” which states that a library may not request more than 5 articles, published fewer than five years from the date of the request, from a particular journal in a given year.  It is standard practice to retain records for three years once copyright permission is granted.

How does it help?

While many libraries report ILL transactions for copyright clearance at the end of the calendar year, more frequent tracking and reporting may have added benefits. Copyright costs may increase throughout a year and direct purchasing from publishers, once copyright limits have been reached, can save a library anywhere from $5 to $25.00 and more per transaction.

Also, putting into place a simple Copyright Clearance for older articles bypass routing rule will streamline your borrowing for older articles and shorten turnaround times.

Info about U.S. Copyright Law pertaining to ILL

U.S. Copyright Office Circular 21: Reproduction of Copyrighted Works by Educators and Librarians 

CONTU Guidelines on Photocopying under Interlibrary Loan Arrangements

Services available for obtaining permissions

Copyright Clearance Center

Get It Now pay-per-view service from the Copyright Clearance Center

Getting Started

Configuring ILLiad for optimal copyright management

By default, ILLiad sends all incoming article requests to Awaiting Copyright Clearance whether they fall within the CONTU Rule of 5 or not. Using a simple routing rule, however, you can send requests for articles published over 5 years ago (thus exempt from the Rule of 5) straight to Awaiting Request Processing (or to your unmediated services). This eliminates having to manually clear these requests during Copyright Processing.

Note in the example below that you can change the NewTransactionStatus to one of your automated services, such as:

Rule No

(this varies, but it should come before all other rules for articles)

Rule Active


Process Type


Transaction Status

Awaiting Copyright Clearance

Match String

t.RequestType = 'Article' and len(t.PhotoJournalYear) = 4 and t.PhotoJournalYear < convert(varchar(4),(datepart(year,getdate()) - 5))

New Process Type


New Transaction Status

Awaiting Request Processing

Rule Description

Rule to bypass copyright clearance for articles exempt from the Rule of 5.

Basic Copyright Workflow

Once you hit the limit of five requests, and you wish to track, record and submit the copyright through ILLiad you will need to:

  1. Click the Search button in the Awaiting Copyright Clearance screen to look up the Copyright prices.
  2. If you are requesting this through traditional ILL means (from another library and not from a publisher), click the Save CCC Information button. The request then forwards to ALIAS, Rapid, Direct Request, or into the Awaiting Request Processing Queue and the CCC pricing info is included.

For more information about clearing copyright, consult the ILLiad Documentation:


Oops! Clicked that CCC button by accident and didn’t mean to record the pricing info? Go into the record and click the Remove Payment button. That’s it!

Using ILLiad to submit your copyright order to the CCC

If this is your first time...

  1. Create an account at the Copyright Clearance Center:
  2. Enter your CCC Username and Password into the Customization Manager:
  1. Key: Borrowing|Copyright|CCCUsername
  2. Key: Borrowing|Copyright|CCCPassword

Once a month (recommended)...

Pick a date when you will process and report your copyright (the first of the month?).

In ILLiad:

  1. Click on the System ribbon
  2. Click Web Reports and log in
  3. From the Administrative menu, select Copyright
  4. Supply the start and end dates, then click Generate Report

There are three categories in the report:

In ILLiad:

  1. Click on the Borrowing ribbon
  2. Under the Process Copyright menu, click the Submit Copyright Orders button
  3. Enter a start date and an end date
  4. Click the Load Copyright button
  5. Click on Refresh Fees (as these may have changed since you saved your payment information).
  6. Click the Submit Copyright Order button
  7. In the pop-up box, confirm you want to report these to the CCC,
  1. Click Yes if correct
  2. Otherwise, click No (then make necessary corrections before continuing).
  1. When they are submitted the note “Copyright Orders Submitted” pops up in the status bar.


Oops!  Made a mistake with your order after you hit the submit button in ILLiad? Never fear! Log into your Copyright Clearance Center account on the CCC website and edit the order before they invoice you.  Make sure to reflect any changes you make in the ILLiad request.

Things to consider

  1. How do you report Copyright?
  1. Yearly
  2. Monthly
  3. Quarterly
  4. No budget for Copyright, no more requests are put through once limit of five is reached
  1. If you report Copyright, have you:
  1. Checked into reporting it monthly/quarterly through ILLiad? If not, why?
  2. Checked into pricing comparison workflow to see if those “over 5s” are more cost-effective to purchase directly from the publisher or from a Get It Now model?
  1. Still confused about Copyright and Copyright reporting through ILLiad and the CCC? Contact your IDS Mentor or a local IDS library in your area for more info.

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