Kiefer Library

Copyright Basics for Instructors

This information and provided links are to provide you with help in navigating numerous copyright issues.

Start with these 5 questions:

  1. Is the work copyrighted?
    • If not copyrighted, you can use it. (and you are finished)
    • Not = often U.S. government works, public domain works, facts and ideas, expired copyright.

  2. What is the class setting? (live or online)
    • face to face or virtual classroom

  3. Is the work covered by a license?
    • License (contracts) outweighs copyright.
    • Library e-resources; have copyright permission for your use.

  4. Does a specific exemption apply?
    • CRITICAL– face to face classroom or virtual classroom.
    • Traditional—may display or perform a work for instructional purposes, face-to-face teaching, nonprofit educational institution.
    • Online classroom—display or performances are transmitted refer to TEACH Act.(see separate handout)

  5. Does fair use apply?
    • Purpose & character of the use (teaching, personal, nonprofit, restricted access, commercial, etc.)
    • Nature of the work (factual, published, creative, etc.)
    • Amount & substantiality of the portion used. (how much is used, “heart” of it, keeping how long, using how often, etc.)
    • Effect or potential effect on the market (replaces sales, numerous copies made, makes publicly accessible on the web,
    • Fair Use guidelines include
      • be a small part of the original
      • be made from a legally obtained original
      • have a full citation and copyright statement on each copy
      • be used one time