Thank you to Perry Collins and Christine Fruin at the University of Florida libraries for permitting their Copyright on Campus Guide to be used as a template for this guide.
Our Course Reserves team can support you in getting course materials (including readings and videos) online, purchasing and licensing materials where necessary, and reviewing relevant copyright issues. SMU librarians can also help identify relevant materials available in the Libraries' collections or freely online without risk of copyright infringement. If you need to upload or link to materials for students to access, these are great places to start.
The Libraries collections include millions of books, articles, streaming videos, and other materials to support your teaching without copyright concerns. You can also take advantage of videos, images, and other content made available online under Creative Commons licenses, which allow for reuse with attribution. If you're using Canvas for the first time, you may want to check out Canvas Commons, a collection of shared resources that can be easily adapted for your course.
Fair use becomes even more critical in an online learning context where other exemptions in U.S. Copyright Law are more constrained. Fair use is an explicit part of copyright law that allows all of us to repurpose portions of copyright-protected works in contexts such as education and scholarship. Questions to ask as you upload materials for your students or create online lectures include:
Samuel Merritt University relies on fair use and other areas of copyright law to prioritize access to course materials for students with disabilities. Learn more about campus resources to make your course accessible and inclusive.
There are a few ways to share materials while easily lowering your risk of copyright infringement:
This guide is designed to provide basic, general information about copyright, and does not constitute legal advice. The links to third party sites in this guide are provided for your convenience. Samuel Merritt University does not take responsibility for the content of these other sites.