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Levy Library Policies and Guidelines: Licensing and Copyright

Licensing and Copyright Policies and Guidance

All library users are expected to abide by our Licensing and Copyright policies. Please be aware that violation of these policies may lead to loss of access to the Mount Sinai network.


Almost all of the electronic books, journals and databases that Levy Library makes available have restrictions on use and access that are specified in the licensing agreements signed by the Library and the respective publishers and vendors. Licenses vary from resource to resource but, in general, the following terms apply:

  • Access is restricted to faculty, students, staff, employees and other authorized users.
  • Sharing of login credentials (i.e., username and passwords) to access library resources is prohibited.
  • Users of these resources will abide by existing copyright legislation including fair use and library use.
  • Systematic and/or substantial downloading or reproduction of content is prohibited (see more detail below).
  • Altering, abridging, adapting, or modifying the licensed materials without permission is prohibited.
  • Resources may not be used for commercial purposes, such as bulk reproduction or distribution.
  • Under rare circumstances special requests for access to library resources may be granted. Only the Levy Library Chief Director and/or Deputy Directors may approve special requests. Contact for additional information.
  • If a licensing agreement is violated, the publisher may terminate the Mount Sinai community's access to the resources covered by that license.


The Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code) governs the making of photocopies or otherwise reproducing copyrighted material. All users of Levy Library resources must respect the copyrights of the works in its electronic, print or audiovisual collections. No copyrighted work may be copied, published, disseminated, displayed, performed or played without permission of the copyright holder except in accordance with fair use or licensed agreement.

Levy Library users are individually responsible for compliance with these terms. Please be aware that violation of license or copyright restrictions may lead to loss of access to the Mount Sinai network. Additionally, copyright infringement can lead to civil and criminal penalties, including fines and imprisonment.

Please Ask a Librarian If you have a question about copyright or licensing restrictions or this policy.

Systematic Downloading

Systematic (or excessive) downloading is the process of manually or programmatically downloading all or large amounts of publications from a site, whether a publisher site or database of content. Publications are systematically downloaded regardless of relevancy to one’s own research in order to amass a publication “library.”

Systematic downloading is specifically forbidden in the library's contracts with vendors. Our licenses allow you to download articles, e-books, and other sources needed for your personal research, not for creating a personal library of publications.

When vendors detect this kind of activity, they cut off access to these resources to everyone in the Mount Sinai system–and this happens as a result of patron activity several times each year.

We take some proactive steps to prevent this kind of activity, including blocking users from Library Resources Login. We investigate any instance of excessively high download rates of our licensed content and other unusual activity by an account. Often this reveals an account that has been compromised or that an account has been purposely shared with other individuals in violation of the institution's acceptable use policy. In these cases, we will require you to change your password before we consider removing you from our block list.