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Copyright and Fair Use

Information and resources about copyright law and fair use. PLEASE NOTE: this guide contains legal information but does not constitute legal advice.

Better Practices in Teaching

The guidelines on this page have been created by the Schumann Library for use by the Wentworth Institute of Technology community. This information is subject to interpretation and is not legal advice.

  • Faculty and staff are bound by the policies of Wentworth Institute of Technology.
  • Copyright compliance should be addressed at the design stage of course development.
  • As a rule of thumb, it's always a good idea to tailor the portion used -- just the right amount -- to meet your goal. 
  • The use of an important part of a book, also known as the "heart" of the work may requires permission, regardless of the amount used -- because it serves as a market substitute. 

How Can I Use...

Articles
From a single issue of an electronic journal held by the Library

You may provide links to any number of articles in Blackboard.

From a single issue of a print journal held by the Library

You may provide a PDF of a single article in Blackboard. If you wish to provide additional articles, you should obtain permission from the copyright holder.

From a single issue of a print or electronic journal NOT held by the Library

You may provide a PDF of one article in Blackboard. For additional articles from the same journal for the first semester you should obtain permission from the copyright holder.

Books

E-Books

If the Library owns the e-book, place it on reserve for your F2F and online/distance students. All students will be able to access it. If the Library does not own the book, request that the Library purchase it.

Print books
If the Library owns the book, place it on reserve for your F2F students. Instruct your online/distance students to purchase it (or check with a librarian to see if it can be purchased in electronic format). If the Library does not own the book in print, request that the Library purchase it.

  • You may provide PDF of chapter(s) of a book in Blackboard as long as it is not the heart of the work.

  • If you wish to provide access to a chapter that is the "heart" of the work in Blackboard, you should obtain permission from the copyright holder.

Films
You may show a film in any format in your F2F classroom or place a DVD on reserve for your F2F students.

  • You may provide in Blackboard a link to films included in streaming services such as Films on Demand or Kanopy.

  • For your online/distance classroom, you must use a streaming alternative, or require your students to rent or purchase their own copy of the material.

  • If you wish to show a film outside the classroom, you should obtain permission from the copyright holder or use a streaming version that is licensed for public performance.

Teach Act Resources

The TEACH Act, 17 U.S.C. §110(2), outlines the requirements for online and distance teaching environments.