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Copyright at The College of St. Scholastica

Teaching Scenarios

Many instructors want clear-cut answers about how to use common resources in their courses. Below you will find a few of the most common resources that instructors ask about.

Using Film & Video in Classes

Face-to-Face Teaching Scenario

Professor Snow would like to show a variety of films in his face-to-face course. He is able to locate several of them in the Library. In addition, his department owns a couple. However, he cannot find a copy of one very important video on the campus. The good news is that he has a copy of the film that he purchased a few years ago. Can he show all the films in his class?

 

Answer

Instructors are allowed to show videos in their courses. This is because of the Classroom Use Exception as outlined in the US Copyright Law. Section 110(1) of the US Copyright Law allows for performing or displaying any copyrighted work in the face-to-face classroom. This includes videos, DVDs, images, artwork, skits, poetry, articles, etc. It does not include photocopies handed out to students in the class. 

To qualify for the exception, certain conditions or situation must be met:

  • The place where the class is being taught must be a non-profit educational institution or similar place devoted to instruction.
  • The class must be a face-to-face classroom engaged in teaching activities.
  • The work must be a legal copy. The legal copy can be from the Library, the department, or even an instructor's personal copy, but it must be a legal copy. If there is any question about whether or not the item is a legal copy, do NOT use. An example of an illegal copy would be a bootleg copy of a movie. 
  • An instructor or an enrolled student in the class may show the video to those enrolled in the course. 

If all conditions are met, then the video can be shown in the course without asking permission, paying copyright fees, or relying on fair use. 

Another option for instructors is to put the videos on Reserve in the Library. This will allow any students who miss class to watch the video outside the class.


Online Teaching Scenario

Professor Snow teaches a section of the same course online in Blackboard. He would like the students enrolled in the online course to see the same exact videos as those students in the face-to-face course. 

 

Answer

Although there is an exception in the US Copyright Law for distance education called the TEACH Act, CSS currently does not have all the pieces in place to meet the exception. This means that at this time, instructors cannot use this exception as protection for showing videos in online courses. 

Probably the best and safest option for instructors wanting to show videos in their courses is to check the streaming video collections available from the CSS Library. Instructors can link to these videos or embed them in their Blackboard courses. In the event the Library does not have the video, contact one of the Librarians to see if the video is available to purchase as a streaming video. 

Another option for instructors is to put the video on Reserve in the Library. Students who live near the main campus can come into the Library and watch it as their schedules allow. For students who do not live near the campus, additional copies can be made available to mail to them through Rover, the Library's document delivery service. However, be aware that this method does take time. Students will need to plan ahead to watch the video. In addition, they will need to consider the time needed to receive the video in the mail. Also, because there will be limited copies of the video available, students will be put on a waiting list for materials that are checked out. Students on a waiting list will be sent materials as soon as a copy becomes available and in order of their request. 

Another option for instructors wanting to show videos in their online course is Fair Use; however, a careful analysis of the Four Factors of Fair Use must be conducted prior to putting a video in an online course. In addition, it is highly recommended that instructors show no more than is absolutely needed to meet the instructor's educational goal. This means that the full video should not be put online unless absolutely needed to meet the educational goal. Unfortunately, the Library will not be able to assist you converting a DVD to a streaming option for your students, and the Library does not have a streaming server to house the video. Before considering this option, instructors should ensure that the video is not available as a streaming option. Finally, instructors should also consider the experience of their students. Slower bandwidths could really disrupt the viewing experience for some students. 

The last option would be to request permission to use the item from the copyright holder. Most permissions for videos will be requested to a publisher, which means permission would most likely be requested using an online form on the publisher's website. However, it is possible that a Copyright Management Company may oversee the permission process and the collection of fees for the copyright holder. Instructors should contact the copyright holder first to see if they own the copyright of a video. If this is a publisher, they should alert you if they do not own the copyright and how to contact instead.

NOTE: Instructors should NOT pay any license fees for any copyrighted work unless they are sure the receiving party is the copyright holder or has the authority to license an item on the copyright holder's behalf. 

In the event that none of the above options will work, instructors may want to re-consider fair use or try to locate something else.

 

Resources to Learn More:

Sharing Photocopies in Classes

Face-to-Face Teaching Scenario

Professor Jones is teaching a course in public health nursing. She just received a new book that has a chapter she would like to share with her students. In addition, she discovered that the latest issue of the journal, Public Health Nursing, has arrived in the Library. When she was reviewing the issue, she found an article that she would also like to share with her students. Can she photocopy the book chapter and the article and share them with her students in her face-to-face class?

 

Answer

Unfortunately, there are no exceptions in the US Copyright law that specifically allows for the sharing of copies in the classroom. The Classroom Exception only allows for performing or displaying a work.

Instead, instructors will need to rely on fair use for sharing photocopies of articles, book chapters, and other materials; however, they will need to conduct a fair use analysis prior to making copies and sharing them with their students. In addition, instructors should consider best practices for sharing copies in the classroom. These best practices state:

  • Instructors can photocopy and share one chapter of a book or one article from a journal or magazine issue. 
  • Instructors can share photocopies with one class. 
  • Copies must be in support of the learning objectives or learning activities of the course.
  • Instructors should alert students about the copyright status of the copy. 
  • The copies cannot be from educational consumables. These include workbooks, exercises, standardized tests and test booklets, answer sheets, and other types of consumables. 

Another option for instructors is to put the book or journal on Reserve in the Library. This will allow students to come to the Library to read the material and it gives them the option to make their own copies to take with them. The Library also has Electronic Reserves, which would allow students to access the copies of book chapters or articles in a password controlled area. Students will be able to access these readings anywhere they have access to the internet, which will allow them to read the book chapter or article, print it, or save it. 

Another option is to check the CSS Library collections to see if full text access to the book chapter or article is available. If so, the book chapter or article can be shared within a syllabus, or they can be shared in a course LibGuide, an Online Reading List, a Blackboard course, or email.  

The last option would be to request permission to use the item from the copyright holder. Most permissions for copies will be requested to a publisher because most authors sign over their copyrights when publishing. This means permission would most likely be requested using an online form on the publisher's website. However, for copies, it would be easier for instructors to work with the Library to secure a license with Copyright Clearance Center. This service allows instructors to secure permission and to pay copyright fees quickly and easily. The Library can even provide a quote for the cost upfront. The instructor's department would then be billed for the copyright fees. 

In the event that none of the above options will work, instructors may want to re-consider fair use or try to locate something else. 

 

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Online Teaching Scenario

Mark Smith is an adjunct instructor teaching an online course in project management. He would like his students to read some additional readings along with the textbook. He would like to scan and upload a chapter of a book and an article from two different journals. Can he do this?

 

Answer

Although there is an exception in the US Copyright Law for distance education called the TEACH Act, CSS currently does not have all the pieces in place to meet the exception. This means that at this time, instructors cannot use this exception as protection for sharing copies in online courses. 

Just like sharing copies in the face-to-face classroom, instructors will need to rely on fair use for sharing photocopies of articles, book chapters, and other materials; however, they will need to conduct a fair use analysis prior to making copies and sharing them with their students. In addition, instructors should consider best practices for sharing copies in the classroom.

Another option for instructors is to put the book or journal on Reserve in the Library. This will allow students who live near the main campus to come to the Library to read the material and it gives them the option to make their own copies to take with them. Students who do not live near the main campus can request items through Rover, the Library's document delivery program. Copies will then be scanned and sent to students to their CSS email. 

The Library also has Electronic Reserves, which would allow students to access the copies of book chapters or articles in a password controlled area. The link to the electronic reserves course page can be linked within a Blackboard course. This will allow students to access these readings anywhere they have access to the internet. In addition, students would have the option to read the book chapter or article online, print it, or save it. 

Another option for instructors is to check the CSS Library collections to see if full text access to the book chapter or article is available. If so, the book chapter or article can be linked in a course LibGuide, an Online Reading List, a Blackboard course, or can be shared via email.  

The last option would be to request permission to use the item from the copyright holder. Permission can be requested directly through the copyright holder through a letter, email, or an online form on a publisher's website. Or instructors can work with the Library to secure a license with Copyright Clearance Center. This service allows instructors to secure permission and to pay copyright fees quickly and easily. The Library can even provide a quote for the cost upfront. The instructor's department would then be billed for the copyright fees. 

In the event that none of the above options will work, instructors may want to re-consider fair use or try to locate something else. 

 

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Resources to Learn More:

 

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Using YouTube in Classes

Face-to-Face Teaching Scenario

Jane Smiley is teaching a statistics course. As part of the class, she is showing students how to use Excel to analyze descriptive statistics. She found a YouTube video that summarizes the key points of descriptive statistics and wants to show it to her class. Can she do this in her face-to-face class? 

 

Answer

Generally, it is fine to show YouTube videos and other videos from Vimeo, TeacherTube, and other similar platforms in a face-to-face class. However, instructors should not show any videos that they suspect are not a legal copy. For example, from time to time, a full-length feature film may appear on YouTube. Instructors should doubt the authenticity of the video and assume it is not a legal copy. 

Another option for instructors is to provide students with links to the video in their syllabus or within a Course LibGuide. This would allow students to re-visit the YouTube videos on their own time and provide the information to students who may be absent from class on the day the videos are shown. 


 

Online Teaching Scenario

Jane Smiley also has students who are at a distance. They participate in the course via the College's web conferencing platform, Zoom. Can she show the videos to the students via Zoom? In addition, she would like to include the YouTube videos in her Blackboard course. Is this allowed?

 

Answer

Generally, it is fine to link to YouTube videos and other videos from Vimeo, TeacherTube, and other similar platforms in an online course. However, instructors should not link to any videos that they suspect are not a legal copy. 

 

Using Hulu, NetFlix, Amazon Prime & Other Personal Subscriptions in Classes

Face-to-Face Teaching Scenario

Professor Snow discovered a couple of new films on his personal NetFlix streaming account that are not available in the Library or in his department. In addition, he does not have them in his personal film collection. He would really like the students in his face-to-face class to watch these films. Can he show them in his class?

 

Answer

Generally, the streaming licenses for NetFlix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and other like streaming services are for individual use only. They should not be shown in the face-to-face classroom. However, most students have personal subscriptions to these streaming services. An instructor can provide students with a list of films they are required to watch on their own. If a student does not have an account to NetFlix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime, the instructor can advise the student about getting a free 30 day trial. In addition, the instructor may want to list the subscription service as a requirement for the course. 

 


 

Online Teaching Scenario

Professor Snow is also teaching the same course online. Can he show or link the videos from NetFlix in his online course?

 

Answer

Generally, the streaming licenses for NetFlix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and other like streaming services are for individual use only. They should not be shown in an online course. In addition, most streaming video services will not provide a link to an individual video. However, just like with the face-to-face classroom, instructors can assume that most students will have personal subscriptions to these streaming services. An instructor can provide students with a list of films they are required to watch on their own. If a student does not have an account to NetFlix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime, the instructor can advise the student about getting a free 30-day trial. In addition, the instructor may want to list the subscription service as a requirement for the course.

 

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