Copyright for Fall 2020 Courses

In case you missed the April posting about sources of copyright help as you prepare your courses for the upcoming school term, here is the information again, along with a new section on online viewing of films. This information may be particularly relevant if your students will need to access course materials online that previously (that is, pre-pandemic) were accessed by students on-campus.

U of L Copyright website resources:

  • Copyright Permissions Flow Chart:  Outlines when permission is and is not needed.
  • Guidelines for Copying under Fair Dealing:  Summarizes what fair dealing is under the Canadian Copyright Act and kinds of copying that may be permissible without permission or fee payment. See also the FAQ on fair dealing.
  • Readings in Moodle:  An overview of your options for distributing copyrighted materials in Moodle. See also the page on reusing content from a prior semester.
  • Readings on E-Reserve:  Find out how to put readings and other items on E-Reserve as an alternative to Moodle. In some cases, the Library may be able to acquire e-book excerpts you need via Interlibrary Loan for placement on E-Reserves, or you may send scans you have made to the copyright office for formatting. (Print Reserve will be unavailable during the campus/Library closure).
  • Articles in Library e-journals: Use the Copyright Permissions Look-up tool to determine, for example, whether you can download an article from a particular journal into Moodle, or share it with a colleague outside of the U of L. For items in Library subscription databases, instead of posting PDFs, it’s preferable to use persistent links, as this permits more accurate tracking of usage data, which are used to inform Library collection management decisions.
  • Chapters in Library e-books:  Find out how many users may access an e-book (or an e-book chapter) concurrently.
  • Harvard Business Review (HBR) articles: An FAQ on options for using “top 500” online HBR articles as assigned readings in your courses. 
  • Copyright Q & As: A series of interactive copyright tutorials, beginning with foundational issues such as “What kind of right is copyright?”

If your students will need online access to films that are part of your course content, feel free to reach out to your subject librarian for assistance in determining whether streaming access is in place or can be arranged.  In the event that the Library owns the DVD but commercial streaming access is unavailable, subject librarians will normally ask the Copyright Advisor office to assess whether we can make the film available on YuJa under the Copyright Act’s fair dealing provision.

It’s important to note that the Copyright Act prohibits the circumvention of any technological protection measures that control access to works such as films on DVDs. This means we cannot use any of the programs that are widely available to rip a video file from a DVD in order to make the film available to a class.

The University Copyright Advisor office is happy to assist you with permissions clearance for your course materials.  If you would like some help, feel free to:

  • e-mail us your course readings list or syllabus,
  • e-mail us individual readings as you assign them throughout the semester, or
  • provide me with temporary course access to enable a permissions assessment of copyrighted content in your Moodle course.

For each item or reading we will:

  • assess whether permission is needed;
  • determine whether needed permission is covered by an applicable license agreement or statutory user’s right;
  • cover the cost of pay-per-use licensing through the Library’s dedicated course materials licensing fund, when needed;
  • on request, format PDF scans of your selected book chapters for placement on Moodle or E-Reserve; and
  • provide you with a persistent link you can post in Moodle or distribute to students to ensure they can access the item both on- and off-campus.

If you ask us to assess your course readings list or content posted in Moodle, on completion we will provide you with a permissions summary for all items assessed.  We are also happy to help you explore potential alternatives to expensive course textbooks for future courses. 

Please contact the Copyright Advisor office if you wish to book an appointment to discuss your needs in detail. We also welcome requests for copyright presentations if your class will be working on projects or assignments that require basic knowledge of copyright and permission issues or how to find and use copyright-compliant content.

Rumi Graham
University Copyright Advisor


University Copyright Advisor Office | |