Copyright Procedures


The Teach Act is for distance education but protection under that act is contingent upon the University’s compliance with all its requirements.


  • Using materials in public domain is the safest way of incorporating materials in online learning.
  • The less copyrighted works you use, the better.
  • If something is not in public domain, ask permission from copyright holder or through a copyright clearinghouse.
  • If in doubt, consult with Legal Counsel.
  • All materials placed in Moodle should be legally obtained.
  • Digital content should include copyright notices.
  • Students must not be allowed to copy or distribute class materials to others.
  • Access to the website must be limited to registered students.
  • Ascertain that the system is closed, secure, and accessible by password or PIN.
  • Terminate access when class term ends.

Linking and Embedding:

  • It is permissible to link. In fact, it is better to link instead of claiming it to be a part of your own work.
  • To play safe, ask permission from the author and follow the site’s instruction.
  • When embedding, follow the copyright rules.

Ownership of class materials created for distance education:

  • Without any contractual agreements, the teacher owns the materials. Depending on the situation, teacher and the institution or offices within the institution may own all or parts of the course.  For shared ownership, license agreement must be signed by interested parties.


  • A book may be scanned and put in Moodle if it 
         is in public domain, OR
         falls under the parameters of the TEACH Act.
  • If book is available online, provide a link for students to read or download their own copy.
  • If the library has obtained permission (from the author or the Copyright Clearance Center), place the book on the Library’s e-reserves and students may read or make their own copy.
  • If book is available for purchase, encourage students to buy their own copy
  • If unable to fulfill any of the above, replace the book with something that you are legally able to use.

Book Chapters:

  • Contact the publisher to make copies of the chapter for the class.


  • A student currently enrolled in the class can make only one copy of an article posted in Moodle and for educational purposes only.
  • Articles obtained from interlibrary loan are only for the requestor;  they should never be distributed or made available to a class.
  • If the article is in one of the library’s databases, it is better to link to it.

     Resource: (Butler, Rebecca. Copyright for Academic Librarians and Professionals. Chicago: ALA, 2014, pp. 217- 230.)

Images and Photographs:

  • Not all images on the Internet are eligible for use.
  • Check out common sources such as Flickr, Creative Commons, etc.

Movies and Movie Formats: 

• Do not upload movies to Moodle.  Movie clips may uploaded to Panopto under any of the following situations (Butler, p. 96):
       Permission was granted by copyright holder.
       They are in the public domain.
       They are being used under fair use or another statutory exemption.

• Streaming videos is allowed in any of the following situations (Butler, p. 108):
       If you follow the license or specific instructions on the site.
       If permission is granted by copyright owner.
       If the film falls under fair use or another statutory exemption
       If the film is in the public domain.
       To access streaming videos, teacher must negotiate with the library through the library liaison to arrange for it

• YouTube
       When using YouTube, check if the work continues to exist.  When it does not consistently remain in YouTube, don’t use it is as it is most likely illegal. .
       Videos placed on YouTube by the publisher are safe.