Copyright Guidelines and Scenarios

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Common Scenarios at NWTC

Below are some common situations involving copyrighted materials at NWTC along with guidance regarding what instructors can do, when they need to ask for permission, and alternatives they can use.

Article scenarios, Coursepack scenarios, Image scenarios, Video scenarios

Article Scenarios at NWTC

Articles

Instructors often find articles they wish to share (and perhaps use again the next semester).  

Instructors can make 1 copy for each student in the classroom or scan the article to post in the Learning Management System if . . .

  • The College owns a legal copy of the article.
  • And the copying meets the Fair Use test (only one article from the copyright holder will be used, the use is spontaneous and will not be repeated next semester, or there is no licensing mechanism for the work).
  • And the instructor also includes a citation statement or copyright notice indicating the source.

Instructors need to ask for permission if . . .

  • The copying/posting fails the Fair Use test (more than one article will be used, there is time and a mechanism for licensing the work to meet this need).
  • Or the instructor is trying to use the same article more than one semester or incorporate in a master template that will become part of standard curriculum.

The NWTC Library can help instructors with their permission requests, but it can take time and may require payment.

Alternatives:

  • Check with the NWTC Library to see if an online version is available through Library-licensed collections or as free or open resources. Then link to the article in the Learning Management System’s announcements/class materials or via email.
  • Ask the NWTC Library to find other articles on this subject that are Library-licensed or free/open.  Link to those resources.

Coursepack Scenarios at NWTC

Coursepacks

Instructors often want to hand out materials containing information from several articles and book chapters.  They may want to make a coursepack that is sold in the Bookstore.

Instructors should provide links to articles whenever possible.

Remember, you can always link or use embed codes to anything that is on the open web without worrying about copyright.

Instructors can copy the articles and chapters as handouts if . . .

  • The publishers have expressly stated that reproducing the material is acceptable, and the instructor checks the copyright box on the Print Services request form.  A citation statement or copyright notice must indicate each source.
  • Or the copying meets the Fair Use test (only a small amount of the work will be used, the use is spontaneous and will not be repeated next semester, or there is no licensing mechanism for the work). A citation statement or copyright notice must indicate each source.

Instructors can put the material into a coursepack sold in the Bookstore if . . .

  • They have received written permission to copy and distribute the material for a profit and share this permission with the Bookstore and Print Services when creating the coursepack. This may involve coordinating pay-for-use licensing through the Copyright Clearance Center.
  • And they also include a citation statement or copyright notice indicating each source.

Instructors need to ask for permission if . . .

  • The publishers have not expressly stated that reproducing the material is acceptable. For coursepacks, the instructor also needs a statement showing that the publishers know the material is being sold for a profit. This may involve coordinating pay-for-use licensing through the Copyright Clearance Center.
  • Or the copying fails the Fair Use test (more than a small amount of the work is used, there is time and a mechanism for licensing the work to meet this need). The Fair Use exemption cannot be used for coursepacks being sold in the Bookstore.
  • Or the instructor wants to use the articles or chapters more than one semester.
  • Or the instructor is trying to replace an anthology, compilation, or collected works so students do not need to purchase it.

Alternatives:

  • Ask the NWTC Library to find other articles on this subject that are free/open and allow for coursepack inclusion.  Or find Library-licensed materials that can be handed out or linked to.  

Image Scenarios at NWTC

Images

Instructors often find images online or in books and want to use them in instructional materials or presentations.

Instructors can use the images if . . .

  • The web site authors or book publishers have expressly stated that copying or posting the material online is acceptable.
  • Or the use meets the Fair Use test (only a small amount of the author’s work is used, the use is spontaneous and will not be repeated next semester, or there is no licensing mechanism for the work).  
  • And the instructor also includes a citation statement or copyright notice indicating each source. 

Instructors need permission if . . .

  • The images were not lawfully acquired.
  • Or the use fails the Fair Use test (more than a small amount of the work is used, there is time and a mechanism for licensing the work to meet this need).
  • Or the instructor wants to use the images for more than one semester.

The NWTC Library can help instructors with their permission requests, but it can take time and may require payment.

Alternatives:

  • Link to the online images rather than copying and pasting them.
  • Use images with Creative Commons licenses and include an attribution statement under the image. Most search engines now allow you to limit results to images with usage rights allowing reuse.
  • The NWTC Library can help you find Open Educational Resources or Library-Licensed images.

Below is an example of an image with proper attribution - a link to original image, author information, and a link to the license selected by the author (a Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike license).

Creative Commons examples: Attribution (CC BY), Attribution ShareAlike (CC BY-SA), Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC), Attribution No Derivatives (CC BY-ND), Attribution Non Commercial ShareAlike (CC BY-NC-SA), and Attribution Non Commercial No Derivatives (CC BY-NC-ND).

This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-SA

Video Scenarios at NWTC

Videos

Instructors often find videos online and want to use them in presentations for face-to-face instruction or online in the Learning Management System.

Instructors should link to videos or use provided embed codes whenever possible.

Remember, you can always link or use embed codes to anything that is on the open web without worrying about copyright.

Instructors can download or copy non-NWTC created video clips for classroom use if . . .

  • They have a good faith belief that it is a legal copy and the video is from a web site that gives permission for reproduction and electronic distribution of the clip.
  • Or the College obtains a legal copy of the video and it meets the Fair Use test (only a small amount of the work will be used, the use is spontaneous and will not be repeated next semester, or there is no licensing mechanism for the work).
  • And the source is indicated by a citation statement or copyright notice. Captioning or subtitles must be present for accessibility.

Instructors can download or copy non-NWTC created video clips for posting in the Learning Management System if . . .

  • They have a good faith belief that it is a legal copy and the video is from a web site that gives permission for reproduction and electronic distribution of the clip.
  • Or the use meets all the TEACH Act requirements– It is a reasonable and limited portion of a lawfully acquired work relevant to the class context, it is not a work that was specifically marketed for digital distance education, a copyright warning is posted, and students cannot retain or distribute a copy of the work. The TEACH Act would allow for using the clip more than one semester.
  • Or if the first two options are not applicable, the Fair Use test could be applied to any legal copy of the clip (only a small amount of the work will be used, the use is spontaneous and will not be repeated next semester, or there is no licensing mechanism for the work).
  • And the source is indicated by a citation statement or copyright notice. Captioning or subtitles must be present for accessibility.

Instructors need permission if . . .

  • They do not have a legal copy of the video (or are unsure if the copy is legal) and no legal copies can be found online for direct linking.
  • Or the use fails the Teach Act requirements and Fair Use test above.

The NWTC Library can help instructors with their permission requests, but it can take time and may require payment.

Alternatives:

  • Link to the online version of the video clip. The instructor will need to check each semester to ensure that the link is still active.
  • Ask the NWTC Library to find other videos on this subject that are Open Educational Resources or Library-Licensed.

Disclaimer

This guide does not answer all the questions; it is not intended to replace legal counsel. It is intended to alert you to potential problems you face as a professional educator if you copy someone else’s work.