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Copyright: Use for Teaching - Residential and Online

Provides an overview of copyright basics, fair use, permission requests, and using copyrighted material for teaching (face-to-face and online).

Legal basis of using copyrighted materials for teaching

The law permits faculty to provide access to copyrighted material for registered students using an online course site such as Mines Canvas site, but copyright (and sometimes licensing) restrictions still apply. Here are the legal basis.
 

Classroom Exemption (in-person courses)

Copyright law provides a classroom exception in section 110(1) that allows instructors to display or show entire copyrighted works during the course of a face-to-face classroom session. This exception exists independently of fair use and may be a more applicable option for exposing students to copyrighted material. Keep in mind that the exception only applies to face-to-face, in-person instruction.
 

The TEACH Act (online courses)

The Technology, Education, and Copyright Harmonization Act of 2002 permits instructors of non-profit educational institutions to display audio-visual and other works for distance education courses in a manner comparable to what would be permitted in a live, face-to-face classroom.

For in-person classrooms

Options for instructors to make learning materials available
-- For residential classes
 

Request your textbook or other learning materials to be reserved for checking out by filling out the form.

 

  • Links to content in Canvas course sites

For posting learning materials in Canvas, use links to fulltext articles, ebook chapters, videos, audio etc. instead of posting the actual content such as PDFs or media files. Linking is a better option for providing access to licensed material while staying within copyright and license terms.

To obtain the permanent link (accessible on- and off-campus) to resources the Mines Library subscribed for, please find the item in the Library Catalog and take the PERMALINK from the item record as shown in the screen shot below. 

Permanant link in library catalog

If you would like to use the direct link to the publisher's site, please add the library's proxy server prefix (http://mines.idm.oclc.org/login?url= to the link. For example, https://doi.org/10.1016/S1005-0302(12)60016-4  should be posted as http://mines.idm.oclc.org/login?url=https://doi.org/10.1016/S1005-0302(12)60016-4 .

 

  • Fair use justification or get permission

If the only option is to post the actual content (PDFs, media files etc.) to Canvas or disseminate the actual copies in other means, you can:

  1. Check if the work is in public domain -- see Copyright Term and the Public Domain
  2. Request permission from copyright holders -- see Use Copyrighted Materials Step 4
  3. Examine if your use qualifies as Fair Use and document it -- see Use Copyrighted Materials Step 3
     
  • Video and audio materials

The Classroom Exemption allows instructors to show entire copyrighted works during the course of face-to-face class session. You can also choose from Mines Library streaming video collections that can be streamed by students using links posted on Canvas or codes directly embedded in Canvas course site.
 

  • Open Educational Resources

Consider Open Educational Resources, including textbooks, Open Access research articles, and other multimedia materials, since they are openly licensed for adopting and adapting. See Open Educational Resource Guide for more details. For videos and images, you can also starting with CC search of YouTube or Wikimedia Commons. 

For Mines Online courses

Options for instructors to make learning materials available
-- For Mines Online classes

Since the TEACH Act allows display of copyrighted works for distance education courses in a comparable manner to face-to-face in-person classroom, the following options are available for Mines Online classes.

 

  • Links to content in Canvas course sites

For posting learning materials in Canvas, use links to fulltext articles, ebook chapters, videos, audio etc. instead of posting the actual content such as PDFs or media files. Linking is a better option for providing access to licensed material while staying within copyright and license terms, especially for online students. Please make sure that you:

  1. Post a permanent link (accessible off-campus) to resources. See the box on For in-person classrooms on the left for how to obtain the permanent links.
  2. Post a notice with your syllabus stating that "Learning resources provided via the course site can only be used for academic purpose and in accordance with copyright law and Mines copyright policy. Abuse of resources such as excessive downloads may lead to the termination of your access."  
  • Fair use justification or get permission

If the only option is to post the actual content (PDFs, media files etc.) to Canvas or disseminate the actual copies in other means, you can:

  1. Check if the work is in public domain -- see Copyright Term and the Public Domain
  2. Request permission from copyright holders -- see Use Copyrighted Materials Step 4
  3. Examine if your use qualifies as Fair Use and document it -- see Use Copyrighted Materials Step 3
     
  • Video and audio materials

As for face-to-face class session, you can also choose from Mines Library streaming video collections that can be streamed by students using links posted on Canvas or codes directly embedded in Canvas course site.

If the video you need to use is openly accessible online, linking to it is the best option.

If you only have local copies of the video/audio files, under the TEACH Act, you may be able to digitize them and stream them through Canvas as long as it's only accessible by course registrants and is protected with digital coding that is designed to prevent copying. 
 

  • Open Educational Resources

Consider Open Educational Resources, including textbooks, Open Access research articles, and other multimedia materials, since they are openly licensed for adopting and adapting. See Open Educational Resource Guide for more details. For videos and images, you can also starting with CC search of YouTube or Wikimedia Commons. 

More about TEACH Act

Under the TEACH Act, instructors may make available online for student use:

  • full performances of nondramatic literary or musical works (i.e., no plays, musicals, operas, etc.); or
  • "reasonable and limited portions" of dramatic audio-visual or other types of works.

The material must only be made available to students enrolled in a particular course (e.g., under the password-protected auspices of a Course Management System like Canvas) and only during the time period (e.g., quarter, semester, summer session) of that particular course. In addition, the material must be accompanied by a notice to students that it only be used in accordance with copyright law and the copyright policy of the institution.

Many of the licensed databases, articles, and books from the library are limited to noncommercial use, please note your students that the "Resources provided are limited to use for academic purpose only."

For more information about the TEACH Act and how it applies, see this overview from Columbia University.

It should be noted that the TEACH Act stands apart from the Fair Use exception. Even if an instructor is unable to make material available to students under the TEACH Act, the use still may qualify for Fair Use protection.