As we move into diversifying modalities of instruction from purely face-to-face meetings with students to hybrid variations and fully online courses, we must begin to address the issues governing electronic use of copyrighted materials in electronic formats for teaching and learning. The information contained here seeks to inform faculty so that they can better make choices regarding legal use of digital materials for instruction. The copyright law (Title 17, United States Code) sets strict limits on making copies of copyrighted works. Fortunately, these limitations on use are softened somewhat by the "Fair Use" provisions under section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976 and the Technology Education and Copyright Harmonization Act (TEACH) passed by Congress in 2002. Although use of copyrighted content by educators has greater flexibility under these provisions, willful infringement may subject the copier to damages up to $100,000 per work. Please contact Academic Computing, if in doubt about any aspect of these rules.
The fair use provisions and the TEACH Act broaden the rights of educators to perform and display works and to make digital copies of integral parts of the works for instructional purposes in a distance learning setting. Where there are limitations under the TEACH Act educators still have recourse to Fair Use to make copies, create derivative works, display and perform works publicly and distribute them to students where restrictions apply. For more information regarding the restrictions governing Fair Use refer to http://www.utsystem.edu/ogc/IntellectualProperty/. Of particular interest when reading about Fair Use at the site above is the information that constitutes the "Four Factor Fair Use Test". The test serves as a valuable guide when evaluating the legality of your use of copyright materials where the TEACH Act does not apply.
Here are some suggestions to follow when preparing materials for asynchronous presentation over the web that do meet the "Fair Use Test" and TEACH Act provisions.
Georgia Harper, manager of the Intellectual Property Section of the Office of General Counsel for the University of Texas System and a specialist in copyright law summarizes the features of the TEACH Act in her article, "The Teach Act Finally Becomes Law". The article in its entirety can be found online at: http://www.utsystem.edu/ogc/IntellectualProperty/teachact.htm. In the article Harper devised the following checklist to determine whether your use falls under the guidelines set forth under the TEACH Act. Please use this checklist when considering the digitization of copyrighted content for use in instruction.
The materials are not in an amount the law specifically excludes from its coverage:
If I am using an analog original, I checked before digitizing it to be sure:
For additional information on copyright please consult the following links:
"The Campus Guide to Copyright Compliance"
"Central Washington University's Copyright Policy."
Copyright document in Adobe Acrobat pdf format
"Copyright Crash Course."
"New Fair Use Best Practices in Media Literacy"http://www.centerforsocialmedia.org/resources/publications/code_for_media_literacy_education.
"Fair Use of Copyrighted Materials."
"The TEACH Act Finally Becomes Law."
"Baruch's Interactive Guide to Using Multimedia in Your Courses."
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