Skip to main content

Copyright Guide: Moodle and Copyright

Copyright and Moodle

Copyright and Moodle

All items placed in Moodle must comply with United States copyright law and the Davidson College copyright policy.

When providing digital materials to students, educators must either secure permission for use or ensure that they are meeting the fair use standards of U.S. copyright law.

Copyright Guidelines for Posting in Moodle

  • All items posted to Moodle must be limited to students enrolled in the course. If unenrolled students can view these materials, please contact an instructional technologist for help.  
  • All materials must have been legally obtained.   
  • Materials must be used for educational, non-commercial purposes.  Students may not be charged for their use of these materials.
  • Providing a link to materials is preferable to uploading a scanned document. Use a link to materials whenever possible.

Instructions for Posting to Moodle

Step 1: Verify Whether Permission is Required

  • Works which are in the public domain (generally, material published before 1923) do not require permission to use.
  • Licenses like Creative Commons grant public use of content so long as certain conditions are met (i.e. attribution of original author)
  • Following the principle of Open Access, content is increasingly available as Open Educational Resources. See our guide on OER to learn more.

Step 2: Check if the College has Pre-Purchased Rights

  1. Check to see if the work is covered by the Library's Annual Copyright License
    • If it is covered, you may post to Moodle, provide a full-text link
  2. If the item is not covered by the license, check to see if the full-text is available in one of the library databases.
    • If a link is available, provide a link to a stable URL of the full-text to Moodle
    • For more information about linking with a stable URL, see Linking to Full Text Resources..

Step 3: Consider Fair Use

  • Conduct a Fair Use Analysis
  • Items that are considered fair use or are not covered by the Library's Annual Copyright License may not be posted in subsequent semesters for the same class.  If those items have been used for course reserves in the past, permission must be sought to use them again. 

Step 4: Secure Permission (If Needed)

  • If rights to the material are not pre-purchased and fair use is not feasible, you must get permission from the copyright holder.
  • See How to Request Permission for more information on seeking permission

Step 5: Attribute the Source

  • Each item must include a complete citation with full bibliographic information.  
  • Each item must have a copyright notice.  This notice must include the copyright register's warning and an additional warning about further electronic distribution. 

Meet with a Librarian

Meet with a research librarian to discuss a copyright question.

Fair Use

Educational use is not always fair use!

To learn more about fair use, see our fair use guide.

Questions? Need help? Ask a Librarian
Davidson College Library, Box 7200, 209 Ridge Rd., Davidson, NC 28035-7200
Creative Commons license logo for CC by-sa 4.0
This Davidson College Library Research Guides are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
All box-title icons from Entypo pictograms by Daniel Bruce —