Copyright and Course Materials

Many faculty augment course textbooks with articles, reference books, study guides, audio examples, videos, and other supplementary resources. Although these materials may be protected by copyright, potentially, they may be used for instruction in an online environment.

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) provides a chart, “What You Can Do”, that highlights proposed uses of copyrighted materials and whether permission is required.

Blackboard (Online@UT)
Blackboard software facilitates the creation of sophisticated web-based educational environments. It may be used to create entire online courses or to provide access to materials that supplement existing courses. Innovative Technologies Consulting (ITC) manages Online@UT and can assist faculty in setting up course sites and managing course materials. Access to materials through Online@UT requires a NetID and password.

Course Reserves at the UT Libraries
The UT Libraries’ Course Reserves service provides support for faculty who wish to offer online access to course materials. Online reserve access is limited to the university community by NetID and password. The Libraries follows the principles of fair use in placing both print and online materials on reserve. Staff will consult on questions of fair use relating to course reserves.

Digital Media Service
Digital Media Service (DMS), an OIT/UT Libraries collaborative, offers digitization of audio, video, text, and images for faculty. DMS provides links to the digitized materials, and faculty can post these links to their Blackboard or other class web pages. Like Course Reserves, access to the materials requires a NetID and password. DMS follows fair use guidelines including the fair use guidelines for multimedia from the Consortium of College and University Media Centers. DMS also assists with copyright permissions as necessary.

Distance Education

Distance education classes take place outside the traditional brick and mortar classroom. Learners are typically connected via an online interface that provides the same learning opportunities as on-campus counterparts. However, distance education may also be offered through other means such as teleconferencing, video, or television. These virtual classrooms may require different applications of copyright law. While the Technology, Education, and Copyright Harmonization (TEACH) Act allows some exemptions for copyright, “its rigorous requirements have prompted most instructors to rely primarily on fair use to display or perform works in distance education (e.g., online or over cable TV).” [Association of Research Libraries, www.knowyourcopyrights.org]

More information: