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Copyright and Online Courses: Frequently Asked Questions

Questions

  1. Can I use copyrighted material in an online course module if access to the web page is restricted to students in the course?
  2. Can I link to a web site within my online class and use the content of that site as a resource for class discussion?
  3. Can I scan an article from a periodical and include it as a component of my online course module?
  4. Can I use the media resources provided by the course textbook publisher as content for my online course?
  5. Can I copy and use digital media from web sites in my online course?
  6. Can I include copied/scanned works of art in my online course?

 

Answers

  1. Can I use copyrighted material in an online course module if access to the web page is restricted to students in the course?

    Perhaps. There are no guidelines specific for the use of copyright materials in developing online courses. Therefore, judgments must be made about the fair use of the material. See: What Does Fair Use Reallly Mean?

    Since audiovisual materials are, by law, excluded from transmission in educational settings, any that are included in on line courses will need to be licensed.


  2. Can I link to a web site within my online class and use the content of that site as a resource for class discussion?

    Yes. A Uniform Resource Locator (URL) or web address is an address and as such, is not subject to copyright. The Copyright Act provides for the fair use of materials for criticism, comment, teaching and research.


  3. Can I scan an article from a periodical and include it as a component of my online course module?

    Perhaps. There are no guidelines specific for the use of copyright materials in developing online courses. Therefore, judgments must be made about the fair use of the material.

    Since audiovisual materials are, by law, excluded from transmission in educational settings, any that are included in on line courses will need to be licensed.


  4. Can I use the media resources provided by the course textbook publisher as content for my online course?

    Since audiovisual materials are, by law, excluded from transmission in educational settings, any that are included in on line courses will need to be licensed.


  5. Can I copy and use digital media from web sites in my online course?

    Perhaps. Materials on the Internet are copyrighted and have the same rights as do traditionally printed materials. There are public domain materials available, however, that can be used. There are companies that sell collections of images, audioclips, etc. See the Additional Resources on the Copyright Information page for links to sites that provide graphic images.


  6. Can I include copied/scanned works of art in my online course?

    Perhaps. Fair use applies.
 
 
 
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