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Copyright on Campus

Copyright law specific to college and university faculty and students


This guide is designed to provide basic, general information about copyright, and does not constitute legal advice.  The links to third party sites in this guide are provided for your convenience.  College of the Redwoods does not take responsibility for the content of these other sites. 

Copyright in the Distance Classroom

Copyright law provides educators with a separate set of rights, in addition to fair use, to display (show) and perform (show or play) others' works in the physical classroom. These rights are in Section 110(1) of the Copyright Act and apply to any work, regardless of the medium. As a general matter, the posting of textual materials (e.g. journal articles, book chapters) for use by an online class is covered by fair use, and the four factors of fair use should be analyzed before posting such materials into your class site. 

The posting of media (e.g. videos, sound recordings) in your online course is also covered by fair use. Instructors often wish to incorporate streaming video in their courses. Most commercially produced films and streaming video products are covered by a license agreement or other contract that govern their use and these terms must be complied with. For more on using video in online classrooms, visit the "Videos in Class and on Campus" tab above.