Online Course Content Guidelines

Includes:

Pages created in course management systems (e.g. Blackboard, Moodle, etc), digital course content uploaded to Pacific's iTunes University site, course websites created by faculty (whether or not on the University's servers).

Option One:Determine if the material is in the public domain or is licensed for open use. If not…
Option Two: If material is to be posted to Blackboard or iTunes University, determine if the TEACH Act applies. If the use does not meet the TEACH requirements,...
Option Three: Determine if the use qualifies as fair use. If not…
Option Four : Get permission to use the material from the copyright holder.

Blackboard

The guidelines for the use of copyrighted materials in online course management systems (CMS) are very similar to those applied in a “live” classroom. If something would not be considered fair use in a “live” classroom, it will generally not be considered fair use in an online course environment.

Materials posted to Blackboard under the Fair Use defense must:

  • Be accessible only to students enrolled in the course.
  • Be removed or made inaccessible as soon as the course has ended.

Textual Material and Images (Photos, Graphics, etc):

If the material is to be used as part of an online learning module (comparable to an in-class lecture/activity/etc), follow these guidelines:

If the material would not normally be used in the course of an in-class session (e.g. readings students are expected to complete outside of class), follow these guidelines:

Audio/Motion Media:

If the material is an audio recording of a non-dramatic literary or musical work (e.g. a poetry/short story reading or a musical recording), any portion (up to the entire work) may be posted under the TEACH Act– a Fair Use consideration need not be made.

For any audio or motion media posted to Blackboard, present the media in a format in which it is most difficult to copy. For example, use streaming media instead of posting a downloadable file.

If the material is a) a recording of a dramatic work or b) any audiovisual work (e.g. a video clip or music video), follow these guidelines:

Safe Use

Portion Limitations:

  1. Motion Media: Up to 10 percent or 3 minutes of a work, whichever is less.
  2. Music video: up to 10 percent, but no more than 30 seconds

Other:

Include on the front page of the course a notice that certain materials are included under the fair use exemption of the U.S. Copyright Law, have been prepared according to the multimedia fair use guidelines, and are restricted from further use.

Questionable Use

For possible uses of copyrighted materials that exceed the limitations outlined above, please do the following:

Dangerous Use

Portion :

  1. Motion Media: Embedding an entire film into a presentation.
  2. Music Video: Embedding an music video into a presentation.

iTunes University

Podcasts posted to Pacific University’s iTunes University site fall into two categories: restricted and public. Copyrighted material may be used under Fair Use in either restricted or public podcasts, but users creating public podcasts should take special care to ensure that their use of such material is truly fair. If there is any doubt, permission should be sought from the copyright holder(s). For all podcasts:

  • The copyrighted materials used must come from a legally acquired source (not a pirated source).
  • Never use Fair Use to avoid paying for or licensing a product containing the media in question, especially digital media created (and marketed for) educational purposes.
  • If media is purchased for use in a podcast, be sure that the license allows for further online distribution.

Guidelines for restricted podcasts

These guidelines apply to podcasts created for specific courses. Materials posted must:

  • Be accessible only to students enrolled in the course.
  • Be removed or made inaccessible as soon as the course has ended.

If these criteria will not be met, please refer to the Guidelines for public podcasts below.

Textual Material and Images (Photos, Graphics, etc):

For the appropriate type of material, follow the portion limitations outlined in these guidelines:

Audio/Motion Media:

If the material is an audio recording of a non-dramatic literary or musical work (e.g. a poetry/short story reading or a musical recording), any portion (up to the entire work) may be posted under the TEACH Act – a Fair Use consideration need not be made.

If the material is a) a recording of a dramatic work or b) any audiovisual work (e.g. a video clip or music video), follow these guidelines:

Safe Use

Portion Limitations:

  1. Motion Media: Up to 10 percent or 3 minutes of a work, whichever is less.
  2. Music video: up to 10 percent, but no more than 30 seconds

Other:

Include on the front page of the course a notice that certain materials are included under the fair use exemption of the U.S. Copyright Law, have been prepared according to the multimedia fair use guidelines, and are restricted from further use.

Questionable Use

For possible uses of copyrighted materials that exceed the limitations outlined above, please do the following:

Dangerous Use

Portion:

  1. Motion Media: Embedding an entire film into a presentation.
  2. Music Video: Embedding an music video into a presentation.

Guidelines for public podcasts

The Guidelines for restricted podcasts offer suggestions for fair and reasonable use of copyright materials. However, these suggestions are intended to be followed within the context of a limited educational audience.

To determine if your proposed use of copyrighted material in a public podcast could be considered Fair Use, fill out a Fair Use Checklist (pdf) and adhere to these guidelines:

  • Use should be for criticism, news reporting, teaching or scholarship and research (not for commercial purposes).
  • Use must include a copyright notice (stating who owns the copyright). Images should have the copyright notice visible on the image itself (rather than in a prologue or credits section of a presentation).
  • The copy must be made from a legally acquired source (not a pirated source).
  • Never use Fair Use to avoid paying for or licensing a product containing the media in question, especially digital media created (and marketed for) educational purposes.
  • Fair Use does not apply to consumable works; for example, workbooks, standardized tests or quizzes, survey instruments, etc.

If you are still uncertain, contact the Copyright Help Desk.

Faculty/Course Website Guidelines

The Fair Use provision of copyright law provides educators remarkable latitude in the use of copyrighted materials in the classroom or in course management systems. However, much of this latitude disappears when the same materials are posted to publicly available websites. The four-factor test for Fair Use may still be applied, but it is advisable to seek permission to post any copyrighted materials on an “open” website.

Guidelines:

Faculty should observe the following best practice guidelines when posting material to publicly available personal or course websites (especially if hosted on the University’s servers).

  • Upload/post freely any materials which are in the public domain
  • Upload/post freely any materials for which you hold the copyright
  • If uploading articles or book chapters you have written, only post them on your website if you have retained copyright privileges. If the publisher or other entity holds the rights, seek permission.
  • Unless they are in the public domain or you have secured permission to do so, do not post course readings to your open website. Course readings used under Fair Use should be posted to E-Reserves or to Blackboard.
  • Seek permission from the copyright holder before posting any images, graphics, video or audio files. If you do receive permission to post such material, be sure to cite the creator/rights holder on your site.
  • If possible, provide a link to full-text or other copyrighted material instead of uploading/posting the material on your website.

When to seek advice:

  • If you have any doubts about whether or not material is copyrighted, contact the Copyright Help Desk at copyright@pacificu.edu.
  • If you receive a complaint regarding copyrighted materials posted on your website, remove the material immediately and contact University Counsel.