Online course delivery is effective and efficient. However, as an instructor, teaching online courses also means ensuring that you use copyright-protected content appropriately. In brief, instructors can incorporate content that:
The information on this page will help you to evaluate your content and ensure that you are operating within the bounds of copyright. They include:
It may take longer than you expect to review your materials to ensure that they are appropriate for open online courses. Be sure to give yourself enough time to review each instance of reused copyright-protected material and to allow yourself to request permission if you need to. Also, don't forget to attribute all of your sources!
When determining whether or not you can reuse material, consider these questions:
Based on: “A Framework for Analyzing Any Copyright Problem,” by Kevin Smith, Lisa Macklin, and Anne Gilliland © 2014. Reused with permission.
Using the Fair Use Checklist
An alternative to including potentially problematic copyright-protected material in your course is to link out to the content that you want to include, whether that is an article, a video, or an image.
To create durable links that are reliable and do not need regular updating, be sure to use both:
The Lamar Soutter Library guide to Constructing Durable Links includes the proxy link, or reach out to one of the Lamar Soutter librarians.
Images—including memes—are easy to find and copy, but are often protected by copyright. When preparing lectures to be posted online, be sure to use images that are either:
If you are unsure of the copyright status of an image -- don't include it in your publicly available presentation!
Google Image Search and Flickr have filters for licensed images available on their websites, or look through some of the sources of public domain images listed on this Copyright Guide.
When attributing an image or other type of content in your presentation, be sure to give enough information to accurately identify and locate the image that you use, including title of work, creator, URL or object identifier, and any copyright and licensing information. Anatomy of an Image Citation:
Videos are also easy to find and embed into a presentation, but may have copyright restrictions that could limit their reuse. When preparing lectures to be posted online, be sure to use videos that are either:
If you are unsure of the copyright status of a video -- link to it rather than embedding the video in your own presentation.
When preparing for your consultation visit with a Lamar Soutter librarian, be sure to:
To set up a meeting with a librarian, contact 6-6099 or email Regina Raboin at Regina.Raboin@umassmed.edu.