Faculty Librarians at Eastern, Metro, Western, and Westshore provide the following services to College faculty:
Answer: Find out when the work was published. If it was published after 1922, it may still be under copyright. If it was published after 1922, investigate what rules apply to works copyrighted in that specific date of publication. You can also consult a librarian if you are still unsure.
Answer: See if Fair Use applies. Fair use is the legal doctrine that limits a copyright holder’s exclusive rights on their materials.
There are 4 factors that determine if fair use applies. They are purposely vague, open to interpretation, and they need to be considered holistically
Here is a Fair Use Checklist from Columbia University Libraries that you can use to help you determine if Fair Use applies to your particular situation.
Answer: Not, necessarily:
If you determine that you can use a copyrighted work in your online class, be sure to place the materials in a secure environment that only your students can access, like Blackboard.
“I have a DVD that I want to upload to Blackboard so my students can watch it.” If you have a VHS or DVD and would like to make a copy of it onto a more up to date medium (like one you could upload to Blackboard), you are most likely out of luck. In many instances, only the copyright holder can legally change the medium of a work. You may want to see if it is available for purchase in this new medium or find a replacement.
Answer: Often, this is not a copyright issue, but rather a violation of your agreement with the provider. Look at your user agreement for the answer.
Answer: The laws regarding movies in the classroom were written at the infancy of online teaching, and therefore are most applicable in a face to face environment. If you can provide a link to a movie via YouTube or an online library database, that may be your best bet. If you cannot, you can have your students try to procure a legal copy of the work on their own. If none of these options work, you may need to forgo the use of that particular movie.