University policy on faculty members’ intellectual property rights is specified in the online Faculty Handbook .
Faculty who use the Web for educational purposes should understand the implications of “Fair Use” provisions in U.S. copyright law for online course materials.
The TEACH Act defines how accredited, nonprofit educational institutions may use copyright protected materials in distance education courses without obtaining permission from the copyright owner. The section on the TEACH Act Best Practices Using Blackboard on the ALA website describes the TEACH Act and provides both interpretation and guidelines on posting materials on Blackboard course sites.
In short, this may include:
- restricting access to copyright materials to students officially enrolled in the course
- limiting access to copyright materials to the duration of the course
- informing students that the creation of more than one copy of course materials under copyright is prohibited, without express permission from copyright holder.
Best Practice Guides
The Guides fill in the gaps in current Copyright Law and provide some ‘cover’ against infringement claims in the developing areas of multimedia sampling and distance education, where neither black letter law nor litigation have provided answers. These Guides are “best practices,’ not settled law and provide advice based on industry standards in developing areas such as multimedia sampling or distance learning where neither regulations nor definitive court decisions exist. They do not supersede University policy on these matters, which can be found in the Faculty Handbook and Student Handbook.
Further information about copyright law, Fair Use guidelines, and educational technology, is available at the following sites:
- U.S. Copyright Law: § 107. Fair Use
- “Copyright in Cyberspace: Introduction” Prof. Stacey L. Dogan (Northeastern University School of Law)
- “Summary of U.S. Copyright Office Report on Distance Education” by Kenneth D. Crews 1995-2001 The Trustees of Indiana University