Fair Use & Classroom Teaching
May I make copies of an article for my students every semester?
No. If you plan to use a source for multiple semesters, you should request permission to duplicate the material from the Copyright Clearance Center or see if it is available through a library database.
May I photocopy several chapters of a book for my students?
No. Copying several chapters affects the economic impact of using the work and could affect the author’s profit from his or her work.
May I make photocopies of all the course readings to distribute to students?
No. This accumulation constitutes a course-pack, and heavy fines have been levied for duplicating these without permission. If you want to use articles or other parts of published works each semester, you need to get permission from the publisher.
May I make a copy of an article, poem, or chapter for each member of my class?
It is permissible to make multiple copies as long as the amount of material passes the brevity test (see above) and is used only for one semester. If you plan to use the same material each semester, permission needs to be obtained from the publisher.
May I play sound recordings or music in class?
Yes. You can share audio materials as long as the original recordings or sound files are obtained legally and the performance of the material is done within a classroom.
May I create a multi-media project to show it in class without obtaining permission?
Yes. Photographs, music, or video may be used in a classroom, as long as access to the presentation will be limited to class participants. Instructors and students may perform and display their own educational projects or presentations for instruction.
May I show a DVD or stream a film in class?
May I play a sound or music file or CD?
Yes. You can show play an audio-recording in a classroom setting as part of Fair Use.
May I burn a copy of an album or audiobook to distribute in class?
No. Materials that are under copyright cannot be duplicated and distributed.
May I record a segment from television to show in my class?
Yes. You can share a recorded television segment and use it in your class, but may only retain it for 45 days. (It cannot be shared electronically or posted online).
Fair Use & Online Teaching
May I upload a PDF copy of an article or book chapter to my personal website?
No. Posting copyrighted content publically is not included in the Fair Use guidelines. You can make PDF copies of material available through your Canvas course, as long as they pass the Fair Use PANE test.
May I link to articles, eBook chapters, or films from the Library's databases in my Canvas course?
Yes. Sharing content through permalinks is permitted by the database vendors, who have already paid the copyright fee. Use a database-generated persistent link.
May I create an online video or screencast containing copyrighted text, video, audio, and photographs that are relevant to the class without obtaining permission to use the copyrighted materials?
Yes. Most experts believe that showing the video or screencast to students enrolled in the course is covered by Fair Use, but it cannot be posted to the open Web (e.g. put on YouTube).
May I upload sound recordings to my Canvas course site?
Yes. As long as the original recordings or sound files are obtained legally, are shared within a Canvas course (not posted on the Web) and pass the Fair Use PANE test. Students should be discouraged from downloading or making their own copies of the material.
May I download a YouTube clip of copyrighted content and upload it into Canvas?
Yes. If you are only using a small portion of the work (one scene from a film, for example) and you are including your own lecture notes, annotations, or comments about the film, you can use the media file this way. A better practice is to embed the video or link to the video on YouTube itself.
May I stream a film to my class through a web conferencing tool like Zoom?