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Resources for Urban Faculty: Copyright Information

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Copyright & Fair Use at Urban

Fair Use is a guideline for allowing exemptions to the Copyright Act of 1976. It states:

[T]he fair use of a copyrighted work … for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include:

  1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
  2. the nature of the copyrighted work;
  3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
  4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

The Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization Act of 2002, known as the TEACH Act, is an amendment of the Copyright Act of 1976 to allow the display or performance of copyrighted material in digital formats for the purpose of teaching.

Streaming Video
The TEACH Act allows for “reasonable and limited” portions of works to be used. Evaluation of fair use may justify streaming the entire film. To determine this justification, determine how the material is being used in the classroom. If streaming is deemed to fall under fair use, a teacher may make the material available to only those students currently enrolled in the course using password protection. A copyright warning statement should be offered to viewers.

Please visit this page for more about our video use policy.

Course Readers
Some teachers at Urban compile course packets (readers) for students to use as course textbooks. Teachers should make a determination of fair use for the items in the reader, determine if they need to seek permission from the rights holder, as well as offer a copyright statement for each item in the reader. This applies to both digital and printed readers.

Workbooks and Labs
Photocopying or digitizing consumables such as language workbooks, test guides, etc. is not allowed under the Copyright Act.

Services for Learning Differences
Urban’s Learning Services Department had made course materials available to students requiring alternate formats due to learning differences. In these cases, students have purchased material in the format available in the marketplace and digitized versions are made available under restricted access. Supporting this need falls under fair use.

Issues pertaining to fair use and copyright can be difficult to navigate. If you have questions, check in with the librarian or consult the book Complete Copyright for K-12 Librarians and Educators by Carrie Russell, available in the library.

fair use