Copyright in Teaching
Copyright Exceptions for Teaching
There are three major exceptions to the copyright law that permit instructors to use copyrighted material in their classrooms without permission. See this post for a summary of the situations in which each exception applies and the conditions on the application of each.
The Association of Research Libraries offers a concise and clear brochure, Know Your Copyrights, that stresses multiple opportunities to use copyrighted materials in the classroom. It is an ideal resource for classroom instructors who want to quickly comprehend the teaching exceptions. The link on the title above offers several ways to download this helpful brochure.
For a graphic representation of the decision about digitizing material for TEACH Act use, please see our Scholarly Communications toolkit.
Classroom Use Cases
Applying the teaching exceptions properly in classroom situations is very fact-specific, dependent on a wide variety of particular circumstances and not amenable to general answers. The following “classroom use cases” are intended to illustrate the analysis involved in resolving specific situations; if they prompt concerns or question regarding your situation, please request a consultation with the Scholarly Communications Officer or your CIT Consultant:
Q – Students in my language class are doing performances of plays and recitals of poetry that are being recorded. May I place these recordings where students in the class can watch them repeatedly to help reinforce the learning? Can I put them on the open Web to showcase my students’ talent?
Q – Since I am allowed to show a video in class to my students, can I also put a digital version of that same film into my course Blackboard site where enrolled students can watch at their convenience?
Q – I have two journal articles that I want every student in my class to read. May I make enough copies for everyone and hand them out? What about putting them in the Library’s e-Reserves system? The Library subscribes to both of the journals from which the articles are taken.
Policy on Electronic Course Content
For help deciding whether course content in Blackboard or some other digital form is fair use or requires copyright permission, consult this policy document adopted by the Academic Council in February 2008.
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