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Copyright: FAQs

Information about copyright and how it affects your teaching, research, and learning at Davidson

Did you know?

Just because something is freely available on the web does not mean that it is in the public domain; it likely still has copyright protection.  

To learn more about the public domain, click here.

Disclaimer

This site is intended for informational purposes only.  Library staff members cannot give legal advice.  For legal advice, you should contact an intellectual property attorney.

Contents

Articles  |   Images   |   Music  |   Video

Don't see your question listed?  Please ask a librarian.

I'd like to post an article in Moodle. What do I need to do?

Follow these steps:

  1. Check to see if the journal is covered by the Copyright Clearance Center Annual Academic License.
  2. If it is covered, you may post the article in Moodle.
  3. If it is not covered, check to see if there is a link to the full text in one of the library databases or online.
  4. If there is a link to the article, post the link in Moodle.
  5. If there is not a link to the article, do a fair use analysis to determine if your use is fair. 
  6. If you determine that it is fair, post the article in Moodle.  If your use is not fair, request permission from the copyright owner.

I want to share and distribute copies of an article in a meeting. What do I need to do?

Follow these steps:

  1. Check to see if the journal is covered by the Copyright Clearance Center Annual Academic License.
  2. If it is covered and directly related to your work at Davidson, you may distribute the article at your meeting.
  3. If it is not covered or not directly related to your work, do a fair use analysis to determine if it is fair use to copy and distribute the article.
  4. If you determine your use is fair, you may distribute the article at your meeting.
  5. If it is not fair use, request permission from the copyright owner to copy and distribute the article.

I want to email an article to a friend at another college. What do I need to do?

Follow these steps:

  1. If the article is posted on the open Web, send the link to the article.
  2. If the article is in a database, create a persistent link.  (For more information, see the persistent link guide.)  Please note that some Davidson-specific links may not work at other institutions.
  3. If the article is not posted online, do a fair use analysis to determine if it is legal to send a copy of the article.
  4. If you determine it is not fair use, request permission from the copyright owner before you copy and send the article.

I want to add an image to my class blog. What do I need to do?

Follow these steps:

  1. Confirm that the class blog is educational and non-commercial.
  2. Search for an image that is in the public domain or has a license for reuse. Creative Commons Search and our Finding Images Guide are good places to begin. If you find an image, proceed to step 6.
  3. If you can't find a licensed or public domain image, do a fair use analysis for the image you want to use.  (Is the blog open to the public? The answer will affect your determination.)
  4. If you determine that your use is fair, proceed to step 6.
  5. If your use is not fair, request permission from the copyright owner. After you receive permission, proceed to step 6.
  6. Add the image to your class blog. Be sure to include the appropriate credit.

I want to add an image to my personal blog. What do I need to do?

Follow these steps:

  1. Search for an image that is in the public domain or has a license for reuse. Creative Commons Search and our Finding Images Guide are good places to begin. If you find an image, proceed to step 5.
  2. If you can't find a licensed or public domain image, do a fair use analysis for the image you want to use. 
  3. If you determine that your use is fair, proceed to step 5.
  4. If your use is not fair, request permission from the copyright owner. After you receive permission, proceed to step 5.
  5. Add the image to your blog. Be sure to include the appropriate credit.

I want to add an image to my class presentation (e.g. PowerPoint, Prezi, etc.). What do I need to do?

Follow these steps:

  1. Confirm that the presentation is educational and non-commercial.
  2. Search for an image that is in the public domain or has a license for reuse. Creative Commons Search and our Finding Images Guide are good places to begin. If you find an image, proceed to step 6.
  3. If you can't find a licensed or public domain image, do a fair use analysis for the image you want to use. (Will the presentation be posted online? That will affect your analysis.)
  4. If you determine that your use is fair, proceed to step 6.
  5. If your use is not fair, request permission from the copyright owner. After you receive permission, proceed to step 6.
  6. Add the image to your presentation. Be sure to include the appropriate credit.

I want to put an image in my class paper. What do I need to do?

Follow these steps:

  1. Search for an image that is in the public domain or has a license for reuse.  Creative Commons Search and our Finding Images Guide are good places to begin.  If you find an appropriate image, proceed to step 4.
  2. If you can't find an image that is licensed or in the public domain, choose an image and do a fair use analysis.  If you determine that your use of that image is fair, proceed to step 4. 
  3. If you determine that your use is not fair, request permission from the copyright owner for the image you would like to use.  After you receive permission, proceed to step 4.
  4. Add the image to your paper.  Be sure to include the appropriate credit.  

I want to put an image in my thesis. What do I need to do?

Follow these steps:

  1. Search for an image that is in the public domain or has a license for reuse. Creative Commons Search and our Finding Images Guide are good places to begin. If you find an appropriate image, proceed to step 4.
  2. If you can't find an image that is licensed or in the public domain, choose an image and do a fair use analysis. (Remember that your thesis likely will be in the Davidson institutional repository, which will impact your determination.)  If you determine that your use of that image is fair, proceed to step 4.
  3. If you determine that your use is not fair, request permission from the copyright owner for the image you would like to use. After you receive permission, proceed to step 4.
  4. Add the image to your thesis.  Be sure to include the appropriate credit.  

I want to put an image on my class Web site. What do I need to do?

Follow these steps:

  1. Confirm that the course Web site is educational and non-commercial. 
  2. Search for an image that is in the public domain or has a license for reuse.  Creative Commons Search and our Finding Images Guide are good places to begin. If you find an image, go to step 6.
  3. If you can't find a licensed or public domain image, do a fair use analysis for the image you want to use.  (Is the Web site open to the public?  The answer will affect your determination.)
  4. If you determine that your use is fair, go to step 6. 
  5. If your use is not fair, request permission from the copyright owner.  After you receive permission, proceed to step 6.
  6. Add the image to your course Web site.  Be sure to include the appropriate credit

I want to put an image on my personal Web site. What do I need to do?

Follow these steps:

  1. Search for an image that is in the public domain or has a license for reuse.  Creative Commons Search and our Finding Images Guide are good places to begin. If you find an image, go to step 5.
  2. If you can't find a licensed or public domain image, do a fair use analysis for the image you want to use. 
  3. If you determine that your use is fair, go to step 5. 
  4. If your use is not fair, request permission from the copyright owner.  After you receive permission, proceed to step 5.
  5. Add the image to your Web site.  Be sure to include the appropriate credit

I want to add music to my class Web site. What do I need to do?

Follow these steps:

  1. Confirm that the course Web site is educational and non-commercial.
  2. If the music will not accompany video on your Web site, it is likely that your use is covered by the college's licenses.  If you are not sure, ask a librarian.
  3. If the music will accompany video on your Web site, check to see if there is licensed music that you can use.  The Creative Commons' Legal Music for Videos guide is a good place to start.
  4. If you cannot find licensed music,do a fair use analysis.  If you determine that your use is fair, add the music to your Web site.
  5. If you determine that your use is not fair, request permission from the copyright owner to post the music to your Web site.

I want to add music to a video I made for a class. What do I need to do?

Follow these steps:

  1. Look for licensed music that will work for your video.  The Creative Commons' Legal Music for Videos guide is a good place to start.
  2. If you cannot find licensed music,do a fair use analysis.  Remember that your analysis will be impacted by the purpose of the video and the nature and amount of music.  If you determine that your use is fair, add the music to your video.
  3. If you determine that your use is not fair, request permission from the copyright owner to add the music to your video.

I want to post a video on my class Web site. What do I need to know?

Follow these steps:

  1. If your Web site is password-protected, visible only to students enrolled in the class, and complies with the other TEACH Act provisions, you may digitize and upload "limited and reasonable" portions of a "dramatic" or "musical" work.  If the video is a non-dramatic literary or musical work, you may add the entire work to your Web site.
  2. If your Web site does not meet these conditions and you found the video on YouTube, embed it on your Web site.  (Don't download and then upload it.) 
  3. If you want to digitize and/or upload the video, do a fair use analysis.  Remember that your analysis will be impacted by the nature of the video, the percentage of the video that is uploaded, and whether or not the Web site is visible only to your class.
  4. For information about copyright and video clips, click here.

I want to add video clips to my class Web site. What do I need to do?

Follow these steps:

  1. If your Web site is password-protected, visible only to students enrolled in the class, and complies with the other TEACH Act provisions, you may digitize and upload reasonable video clips to your Web site.
  2. If your Web site does not meet these conditions, you will need to do a fair use analysis for each video clip you want to digitze, upload, and stream. 
  3. Remember that your analysis will be impacted by the nature of the video, the length of the video, and whether or not the Web site is visible only to your class.
  4. You can also provide links to videos in library databases.  For more information, see the Videos guide.

I want to post a video on my class blog. What do I need to do?

Follow these steps:

  1. If your blog is password-protected, visible only to students enrolled in the class, and complies with the other TEACH Act provisions, you may digitize and upload "limited and reasonable" portions of a "dramatic" or "musical" work.  If the video is a non-dramatic literary or musical work, you may add the entire work to your blog.
  2. If your blog does not meet these conditions and you found the video on YouTube, embed it on your blog.  (Don't download and then upload it.) 
  3. If you want to digitize and/or upload the video, do a fair use analysis.  Remember that your analysis will be impacted by the nature of the video, the percentage of the video that is uploaded, and whether or not the blog is visible only to your class.

I want to add video clips to my class blog. What do I need to do?

Follow these steps:

  1. If your blog is password-protected, visible only to students enrolled in the class, and complies with the other TEACH Act provisions, you may digitize and upload reasonable video clips (of the amount shown in a face-to-face class) to your blog.
  2. If your blog does not meet these conditions, you will need to do a fair use analysis for each video clip you want to digitze, upload, and stream.
  3. Remember that your analysis will be impacted by the nature of the video, the length of the video, and whether or not the blog is visible only to your class.
  4. You can also provide links to videos in library databases.  For more information, see the Videos guide.

I want to add video clips to my personal blog. What do I need to do?

Follow these steps:

  1. You will need to do a fair use analysis for each video clip you want to digitze, upload, and stream.
  2. Remember that your analysis will be impacted by the nature and length of the video.

I want to show a film to my class. What do I need to do?

Follow these steps:

  1. Make sure that the copy of the film is lawfully made, directly related to the class content, and being shown only to the students enrolled in the class.
  2. If your showing meets these criteria, show the film to your class. You do not need permission from the copyright owner.
  3. If your showing does not meet these criteria, you will need to secure public performance rights.

I want to do a film series for my club. What do I need to know?

Follow these steps:

  1. If you are using films from the library, check to see if the library purchased public performance rights for them.  
  2. If the films you want to show have public performance rights, you may show them.
  3. If the films do not have public performance rights, you will need to purchase the rights to show them. 

I want to digitize a film and stream it in Moodle. What do I need to know?

Follow these steps:

  1. Make sure that your use complies with the TEACH Act provisions.
  2. If your use complies with the TEACH Act, you may digitize and stream "limited and reasonable" portions of a "dramatic" or "musical" work in Moodle.  If the film is a non-dramatic literary or musical work, you can digitize and stream the entire work in Moodle.
  3. If your use does not comply with the TEACH Act, you will need to do a fair use analysis.  It is unlikely, but not impossible, that it will be fair use to digitize and stream the entire work.

I have a VHS copy of a film that is worn out. Can I convert it to DVD?

Follow these steps:

  1. Check to see if a DVD version is commercially available.  If it is, purchase the DVD instead of converting the VHS.
  2. If a DVD version is not commercially available, do a fair use analysis to determine if you can convert the video.  It is usually easier to justify converting portions of the video rather than the entire video.
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