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Copyright & Fair Use: Online Teaching : Media Resources

Media Librarian

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Farhad Moshiri
Library-Room 205
Media Collection, Music Collection, Copyright. Library liaison to Music Department.



These rules have been made based on best practices of Section 107 (Fair Use) of the Copyright law recommended by American Library Association (ALA) and Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL). It means if you follow these rules, you do not need to ask for permission from the copyright holder of the item you want to use. In case you need to use more than the amount described under these rules, you always have the option to ask for permission from the copyright holder, usually the publisher or the author/creator of the work.


Please see also "In class teaching-Media Resources" tab for additional information.


DVDs owned by the UIW Libraries / Personal DVDs (as long as they are originals and not homemade copies) : A short portion of the video can be digitized and streamed (if digital version is not available in the market) in order to be transmitted through Canvas. Posting full length programs is prohibited. In case of feature films (movies/fiction films), be sure that the clip does not give up the "heart" of the plot. The same applies to using DVDs/CDs in a Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype, etc. online meeting. You can play and share your screen with your students for a short clip of the audio/video program.


Embed or create persistent links (permalinks) to streaming video programs in databases subscribed by the library. DO NOT try to download the videos in Canvas. Linking and embedding are similar. In linking, you are taken to the video location. In embedding, the video is taken to your location (Canvas, PowerPoint, etc.) In either case, you are not making a copy of the video. But downloading a video is an act of making a copy of the video that is against the copyright law unless you have the permission to do so.



Audio materials (CD/Audio DVD) owned by the UIW Libraries / Personal CDs (as long as they are originals and not homemade copies): You can use non-dramatic literary or musical works such as an audio-book, a poetry reading, songs, and music taken from audio CDs or audio DVDs in an amount comparable to that which is typically displayed in the course of a live classroom session.


Dramatic literary or musical works such as plays, musicals, operas, etc. can be used in short clips (never complete works) taken from audio CDs or audio DVDs. Analog audio programs (such as audio cassettes) can be digitized and streamed as long as the digital version is not available.    


AV materials on the web:


First, be sure of the copyright status of the media material. If permitted, embed or create persistent links (permalinks) to audio and video materials on the web. Do not download AV materials on the web in Canvas (this is an act of copying). If linking to a part of a website is desired, be sure to give full credit to the author/ creator of the website. Make sure the website is legal and contains legitimate content. Make sure to follow the website’s terms of use. Avoid materials on websites clearly intended for personal use only. Follow this link to some suggested free media resources online.


What about YouTube?

YouTube contains millions of videos. Some of them are copyright protected. YouTube claims that its staff are trying hard to remove copyrighted materials posted illegally from its website. But be careful and use common sense in using YouTube videos since according to DMCA, users of copyrighted materials are responsible for what they use not the platform staff where videos are located. The safest way to use YouTube videos is to use "Creative Commons" option under the "Filter" in your search results.


Other copyrighted media materials:

In the past, some print books, especially textbooks, were published with a CD-ROM inside the book containing accompanying materials such as PDF files, PowerPoint files, videos, etc. Recently, these materials reside on the publisher's website. One who purchases the book is given an access code to the accompanying materials. Pay attention that this is an individual access for the person who has bought the book. Never share these materials with others since this would be considered an infringement of the copyright law unless the publisher clearly gives you permission to share or distribute the material. Never post these materials in Canvas or other content management systems. Always contact the publisher and ask for permission if sharing the materials is needed.

Staff LADR