Scholarly Communications Toolkit

TEACH ACT Flow Chart

This flow chart was developed to guide decisions about when it is acceptable to digitize material for inclusion in a course management system. Note that it assumes that the material will only be available to registered students in a class and should not be relied upon outside of that narrow purpose.

Notice for Blackboard and iTunesU pages

This brief notice can be used on pages that provide access to copyright-protected material to satisfy the legal requirement in the TEACH Act that students be warned about the existence of copyright protection and the limitations imposed thereby on their use of the material.

The following sample letters, release forms and licenses are intended as models. They are not form letters, since each such document should take account of specific situations and circumstances:

Model guest speaker release form

This sample release form was drafted for use when a guest speaker’s lecture is to be recorded and distributed by the university.

Permission and Release Form for Recording, Webcasting and Archiving

A more general permission and release form, suitable for adaptation to many different situations, was drafted by Mary Minow, a lawyer and library consultant.

Sample release form for student work

This model form was created for use by a student whose work is recorded or is originally in recorded form, to allow distribution of the work.

Sample license for open access distribution

A sample license intended for use when an institutional repository is recieving material from an author and needs permission to distribute.

Model letter requesting copyright permission

Finally, this sample letter provides a model for asking a rights holder for permission to use their material in a new project (i.e. illustrations to be used on a web site, charts and date to be used in a book, etc.).


2 thoughts on “Scholarly Communications Toolkit”

  1. The model letter for requesting copyright permission works well for classroom projects. However, if you are thinking about using it as a model for writing that might be broadly published (from scholarly publications to best-sellers), be careful not to jeopardize fair use claims when asking for permission. The problem is that asking for permission implies a need for permission. If you don’t hear from the rights owner or get a rejection, but still want to use the material, then you’ve created a nasty dilemma in which you are closer to the losing end of the stick than would otherwise have been the case. If you think you’ve got a fair use claim but want to get permission if possible to avoid controversy, then at least indicate in the letter some uncertainty about whether permission is required. (For example, you could say: “I believe that our proposed use of this material will be a fair use, but as a courtesy, wanted to let you know of our plans and would appreciate your written consent, recognizing that this doesn’t imply an association with our work or your endorsement of it.”) Also, be sure to ask for consent to publication not only in “all languages” but also in “all media.” Internet publications are very important these days, but permissions that don’t mention e-publication could be restricted to print.

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