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SW-700: Writing for Publication

Copyright Compliance Strategies

For Faculty:

1) Permalink to articles and materials to which the University has electronic licensing rights.

2) Use works in the public domain.

3) Create and use your own works.

4) Conduct a fair use analysis for every work you wish to use in class and record your reasoning.

5) Obtain permission from copyright owners.

6) What Can I Use in My Online Class?

For Students:

1) Copy only so much of a work as you need to complete your academic project.

2) Limit distribution to the class and professor.

What You Can Do With Copyrighted Materials

From, Association of Research Libraries' Using Works in Your Teaching-What You Can Do (2007)

Copyright & Learning Management System

Most materials an instructor will use in a traditional, hybrid, or online course will be copyrighted. Educational use alone does not automatically mean you can freely use/upload copyrighted material in a learning management system.  Although a learning management system contains password-protection, such credentialing does not shield one from claims of copyright infringement.  Students hold copyright to their work, so seeking permission to use student work samples is recommended. 

When you reproduce, display, perform and/or transmit/distribute copyrighted materials you are exercising at least one of the exclusive rights of the copyright holder.  How can you do this legally without incurring liability or paying permission fees?

  • Use your own original works- The exception is if you have transferred the copyright to another entity, and you did not reserve the right to use the work for your own teaching, research and scholarship purposes.
  • Use public domain works- The primary rule of thumb is that if the work was published in the U.S. before 1923, it is in the public domain. Your campus librarian can be of help locating potential public domain works.
  • Use federal government works-  These works include works created by federal government employees within the scope of their employment. Contractors and grantees are not considered government employees. Generally they create works with copyright (though the government may own that copyright). See CENDI Frequently asked Questions about Copyright: Issues Affecting the U.S. Government. The public domain status of U.S. government works applies only in the U.S.
  • The Fair Use Provision of the Copyright Act: Section 107- Conduct a good faith fair use analysis which consists of evaluating the facts of your situation in light of the four fair use factors. Document your analysis and save with your course dossier.

With permission: Terry Owen and Andrew Horbal, University of Maryland Libraries