Moving face-to-face classes online brings with it the need to understand how copyright and fair use apply differently to online classes. There are additional laws and regulations that apply to online classes.
Fair use (17 U.S.C. § 107) lists the four factors that must be considered when copying portions of a work to upload onto a learning management system:
Given the current circumstances with the COVID-19 pandemic, the first factor about the purpose and character of the use (i.e. teaching) takes on more prominence. However, this only applies to courses impacted by the pandemic (e.g. previously face to face courses having to move urgently online.)
Even under these conditions, the following steps need to be taken:
The Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization (“TEACH”) Act was enacted in November 2002 as an amendment to the Copyright Act of 1976. Under the Teach Act, accredited, nonprofit U.S. educational institutions are permitted to make certain copyright-protected materials available online to students, without having to obtain permission from the copyright holder. The TEACH Act’s exemptions are intended for distance learning purposes only.
See The Original TEACH Act Toolkit from Louisiana State University Library for more information.
Here are a few tips and best practices for following copyright guidelines when using Canvas or other learning management systems. Because content is only visible to current students and protected by a password, these guidelines are different than when posting on a public website.
Articles and book chapters:
Video and audio:
For more information, see Using Course Management Systems: Guidelines and Best Practices for Copyright Compliance from the Copyright Clearance Center.
Here is a recommended statement to include on or with each document that you are providing in Canvas if you do not have permission from the publisher or author.
“This scan is being provided as part of the Olympic College‘s effort to prevent the spread of the COVID 19 virus. It is for your personal use only, and is only intended for use during the time when the College's public health measures prevent access to a copy on physical reserve at the Library. Please discard this copy once you have access to the physical copy at the Library, and do not share it.”
When it comes to previously-planned physical texts and course reserves materials, we are encouraging a motto of “first alternatives, then equivalents.” We encourage all instructors to consider online alternatives to planned physical course texts and DVDs — alternatives include open textbooks, journals and articles, and e-books and streaming media already licensed by OC.
Have questions? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Olympic College's Copyright Policy informs students, faculty and staff about their rights and privileges in using copyright-restricted material, including the limited exclusive rights of copyright holders.
Olympic College's Intellectual Property Policy for Non-Academic Employees defines intellectual property rights parallel to those defined for academic employees in the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the College and the Olympic College Association for Higher Education. See the Collective Bargaining Agreement webpage for the most recent document.
Use Campus Resources:
Help page, for books, websites and the human who can help!
Copyright and Fair Use for Faculty by Tracey Mayfield and Cathy Outten is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Interested in copyrighting your own work under Creative Commons? Go to their site.