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Copyright Guide: Copyrighted Materials in MOOC's

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Copyright and EdX

Courses taught in edX, Davidson's massively open online course (MOOC) platform, require copyright considerations not always necessary for regular Davidson classes. 

Because MOOCs are open to the public, educational exemptions to copyright law do not apply to DavidsonX courses.  Copyrighted materials (including those licensed in library databases) cannot be used without permission. Copyright and license infrigements can result in a course "take down" from the edX site. 

To avoid copyright infringement and the removal of your course from edX, we recommend using only publicly available, public domain, and open access materials in DavidsonX courses. 

Steps for Adding Materials to edX

  1. Search for public domain, open access, and Creative Commons licensed materials. Submit them to the Library for review.

  2. If you can't find public domain and open access materials that meet your need, meet with a librarian to discuss alternative options.

Guidelines for using copyrighted material in edX

  • Copyrighted materials, including those in library databases, may not be used in an DavidsonX course without permission of the copyright owner.  The Library will help you to secure the appropriate permissions.

  • Copyright permissions can often be lengthy and sometimes difficult to obtain. When possible, use alternatives, including public domain, open access, and Creative Commons licensed materials.  Resources for finding these materials are located in this guide; librarians are also happy to help you find them.

  • Davidson's Annual Academic License from the Copyright Clearance Center does not apply to materials used in DavidsonX courses. You will need to obtain separate permission to use materials in a MOOC. Please contact the Library to request permission.

  • Try to create as much of your own content as possible. Remember that you may need permission from the publisher to use even your own published work in your DavidsonX course. Check your author agreement to see if the publisher owns the copyright to your work.  Librarians are happy to help you determine a work's copyright status.

  • Whenever possible, provide a citation (with a link, if possible) to an item.

  • You may want to recommend some materials for purchase in your course. Publishers are more likely to give permission for you to use a portion of these materials in your lecture if you have linked to a place to purchase them.  

  • Avoid anything but a very conservative fair use analysis when using copyrighted material in DavidsonX courses. 

    • Use only the exact amount of material necessary to illustrate your point.

    • Material must be tied directly to pedagoical purpose and must be commented on in the course. 

Meet with a Librarian

Meet with a research librarian to discuss a copyright question.

Davidson College Library Research Guides are licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

Mailing Address: Davidson College - E.H. Little Library, 209 Ridge Road, Box 5000, Davidson, NC 28035