We’re asking your help to keep the College of Letters and Sciences in compliance with current US copyright laws. This can be a difficult task as case law decisions and fluctuating interpretations of how the Fair Use Exemption does and does not apply to courses taught online hit the news.
Determining if a Copy Can Be Made
One thing that many faculty do not understand is that, if we want to claim our Fair Use Exemption in order to use digital media in online courses, we need to analyze each situation according to the four factors of fair use. Using a copy in order to teach a course does not automatically allow a faculty member to make and distribute copies to students, even if those “copies” are password protected in D2L. So, the first thing we are asking our faculty to do is to complete a Fair Use Worksheet (available in the LS Media Studio) whenever you drop off media that you want copied. Please complete that to the best of your ability and give it to the technician so that we are able to determine that your request probably is not an infringement on the copyright holder.
Seeking Permission and/or Buying Presentation Rights
If the worksheet indicates that permission should be sought before making the copy, consult with your department’s library liaison or a copyright clearing house to get permission. This may take as little as a day, but can take as much time as several weeks – so please plan accordingly.
In some cases, we may need to purchase the ability to copy, distribute or present the media. Licensing fees are usually very reasonable and are a small price to pay to reimburse the people who made materials you wish to use in your class.
Streaming Whole Videos
According to the UWW Library policy, streaming the entirety of a video ALWAYS requires copyright checking; so please consider whether or not you really need the whole video for instructional purposes or check to see if a suitable film is available from Films on Demand.
The most important part of staying in compliance is to plan ahead. It takes time to clear copyright and arrange to stream video or put in on e-Reserve at the Library. Plan now for your video needs in the coming semester, and LS Media and the Library will be able to help you enrich your teaching with digital media.