1. When should I get permission to use a copyrighted work?
The first step in every permission situation is to determine whether you need to ask for permission. Determining whether to ask for permission depends on two questions:
Unfortunately, it is not always possible to answer these questions with a definitive “yes” or “no.” Sometimes, you may have to analyze the risk involved in operating without permission.
If a creative work is protected under copyright law, an unauthorized use may still be legal. This is because there are exceptions to each of the laws protecting creative works. For example, under copyright law, a principle known as “fair use” permits you to copy small portions of a work for certain purposes such as scholarship or commentary.
2. Fair use means that if I’m using it for educational purposes, I can do whatever I want with a copyrighted work, right?
The "fair use" limitation found in 17 USC § 107 is not defined in the statute and does not provide clearly defined criteria for determining what is or is not a fair use. Rather it identifies four factors that should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis in order to determine if a specific use is "fair". These factors, which should be considered together when determining fair use, are:
Use of copyright works for non-profit educational purposes does not automatically give you permission to copy and distribute other people's work.
3. To what extent am I personally liable as a faculty member, student, or employee of Mohave Community College for violating copyright law?
Both the College and the individual may be liable in a civil suit for willful infringement of U.S. Copyright Law.
4. Can I scan course readings and put them up on my personal website for students to read?
No, not without permission of the copyright owner. Materials on the web are accessible to everyone:
5. If a work is copyrighted and I want to use it in my class, what do I have to do?
Permission from the copyright owner is required if you want to distribute copies to your students. You can put it on reserve in the library without getting permission from the copyright owner.
7. What if I use Canvas, Schoology or another Learning Management System (LMS) that uses passwords to limit access to students in a particular class? Would that be fair use of copyrighted materials?
It’s not clear whether this is fair use or not. Yes limiting access to students in a particular class does make a better case for fair use.
8. What about copying a worksheet, lab book, practice test for students from a published work?
No. These are all considered "consumables" and are under copyright. You must have the permission of the copyright owner to make copies:
9. Can I show films in the classroom (face to face)?
Yes. According to the Section 110 (1) of the U.S. Copyright Act, performance of or showing films in the classroom as part of “face-to-face” teaching at non-profit educational institutions (such as MCC) is covered under the fair use exception.
The film must be:
10. Can I show films in an online setting (such as Schoology or Canvas)
Showing films in equivalent fashion as part of distance education or hybrid courses qualifies as fair use under the TEACH Act, but there are restrictions. See Section 110 (2) of the U.S. Copyright Act.
11. Can I display copyrighted pictures, images, or other visual material in an online setting (Canvas or Schoology?
Yes, generally. You must take reasonable measures to ensure against distribution of these copyrighted materials. This includes:
12. Do I have to get permission to link (hyperlink) to another site?
No, you do not need permission. But it is best practice to 1. ask permission and 2. post the permission when linking to another site.
13. Do I have to get permission to embed (inline link) YouTube videos in a LMS (Canvas or Schoology)?
It has generally been agreed that embedding videos is not a copyright infringement. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that embedding videos does not violate copyright because no copy of the video is being made or stored on the website with the embedded link (Perfect 10, Inc. v. Amazon.com, Inc., 508 F.3d 1146 (9th Cir. 2007)).
However, you should still be careful and remember these two things:
14. What kinds of information am I allowed to post on my website?
Any information that has been created by you as an author is acceptable to put on a webpage or a website. This includes syllabi, class notes, biographical information, curriculum vitae, etc.
If you copy a work or a significant portion of another work (including images) for which you do not own copyright and post it to a website without permission, you may be in violation of copyright law.
15. Putting something up on a website is not the same as publishing something, is it? So do I have to worry about copyright?
YES. Posting something to the web, even if you don’t call it publishing, still means it’s protected by copyright law. According to United States Copyright Law:
Copyright protects original works of authorship that are fixed in a tangible form of expression. The fixation need not be directly perceptible so long as it may be communicated with the aid of a machine or device.
once an image, article, book, or other work is created, it is protected under copyright whether or not it was published in a traditional manner.
16. Can I print, download, or e-mail information from a website or library database without violating copyright?
Yes, in general, it’s OK to print, download, or e-mail a single copy of a work from a database or website for personal, non-profit, research use.
17. What else do I need to know about printing, downloading, or e-mailing information or articles from databases?
Mohave Community College provides access to many databases, which contain articles, books, audio and video resources, and other information for scholarly research.
Thus, because of this license agreement, you can use the information you find in the database for personal, non-profit, research purposes.
18. Do I need to get permission to use works that are out of print?
Possibly. If a work is out of print, it may still be under copyright protection. Proceed with the assumption that out of print works are under copyright. Do this you can confirm the copyright has expired and the work has entered the public domain.
19. How can I obtain public performance rights (PPR) to show a film or movie that is open to the public?
To obtain PPR you can (1) Contact the copyright holder or distributor directly or (2) Contact the licensing service representing the particular studio or title (this is usually required for feature length films). There are several companies that provide public performance licenses for a fee: