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Best Practices for Teaching and Copyright

When selecting teaching materials for your online courses, it is important to remember copyright best practices at UNB. The most important point is to use materials that have been intended for distribution. Examples of materials ideal for distribution are UNB Libraries' licensed resources, open resources (such as items with relevant Creative Commons licenses) and your own materials. When including materials in your teaching that you did not create, please consider the following points.

Readings

Textbooks

Journal Articles and Book Chapters 

  • Make use of UNB Libraries' e-book and e-journal collections--include durable links rather than downloaded PDFs, when possible.
  • Check for available open access materials (Creative Commons licenses or similar).
  • Share copies of one chapter or 10% from a print book--arranged through Course Reserves, when possible.
  • Share copies of an article from one issue of a journal--arranged through Course Reserves, when possible.

Materials Found on the Internet

  • Share links to any freely available sites--avoid sharing content behind a password or subscription based.
  • Share links to freely available video services, such as YouTube, with legitimate content--material that identifies the copyright ownership of content, such as Vimeo or NFB--but avoid subscription-based material (Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc.). Contact UNB Libraries for film access.

Course Materials Intended to be Downloaded and Shared by Students

  • Include your own material that you have created, such as written text, images, or audiovisual content.
  • Source images from open resources--see these image resources with less copyright restrictions. 
  • Use short excerpts of copyright-protected materials.

Presentation Materials

  • Incorporate slides and images provided by textbook vendor--often included with textbook purchase and available for adaption in the course.
  • Source images from open resources--see these image resources with less copyright restrictions. 
  • Include your own material that you have created, such as written text, images, or audiovisual content.
  • Use copyrighted material to illustrate a point on a slide or in a presentation only if no alternative exists from the above resources. This material must be used for display only and cannot be further distributed. 
If you are preparing your course for a copyright review with UNB Libraries' Copyright Office, citation information is needed for identification and copyright assessment of sourced materials. Your choice of citation method and/or style is up to you and depends on conventions in your discipline. Contact UNB's Writing & Study Skills Centre for information about how to cite your sources.
 

FAQs

When sharing third-party content available online, linking rather than uploading is the best practice. If uploading a copy is necessary for teaching, be sure to check if no suitable licensed or open access equivalents can be used instead, ensure that you credit the original source, use a legal copy of the original, do not circumvent digital locks or any notices prohibiting distribution, and remove it at the end of term. When linking to online content does not fit your teaching needs, we encourage you to submit a request to reserves@unb.ca. Library staff can guarantee the content is shared within the limits of copyright law and licenses. Explore this Copyright Decision Map for factors to consider when copying a variety of copyright-protected works.

D2L Brightspace and Teams are best suited for sharing materials that are the intellectual property of the instructor or content that is feely available on the web. When uploading materials to D2L Brightspace or Teams, you are responsible for ensuring that any copied content meets the limits of fair dealing, educational institutions exceptions, respects the terms of digital licenses, and is removed at the end of term. A major advantage of UNB Libraries' Course Reserves is that staff handle all copyright and licensing concerns related to your course materials and secure the necessary permissions for class distribution when materials exceed the parameters of fair dealing or library licenses.

When sharing UNB Libraries’ licensed content with students, provide durable links instead of uploading files. Sharing durable links helps ensure license compliance and the collection of usage data. If you wish to include PDFs of readings, it is necessary to review the licensing restrictions. Library staff will locate the readings and provide appropriate links that will be accessible from your course’s homepage in D2L Brightspace. Forward your reading list with citations, or as much bibliographic information as possible, to reserves@unb.ca.

In the case of library or personal print materials scanned for online use, instructors can copy and distribute to their students up to 10% of a copyright-protected work, such as one journal article from an issue, one chapter from a monograph, a short story, a poem or a play from an anthology. You are responsible for ensuring that any copied content comes from a non-infringing original copy, meets the limits of fair dealing, educational institutions exceptions, and is removed at the end of term. If the content exceeds 10%, submit a request to reserves@unb.ca. Library staff will endeavor to secure the necessary permissions for class distribution when materials exceed the parameters of fair dealing. Explore this Copyright Decision Map for factors to consider when copying a variety of copyright-protected works.

When disseminating such materials via D2L Brightspace or Teams, check the “terms of use” that specify how the material can be shared, ensure that you give appropriate credit, limit sharing to students enrolled in a course that utilizes the publisher’s materials, and remove access to the content at the end of term. Also, let students know that copying or distribution of the publisher’s content outside of the course is prohibited.

Yes. When a user creates a new work based on parts of protected works, the most relevant exceptions in the Copyright Act are the Mashup and Fair Dealing exceptions. When creating a mashup, you must identify the authors of the different works involved, utilize a legal copy of the originals, and ensure that the new work does not have a significant adverse effect on the originals. See this workflow for more details about creating transformative media projects.

If an image is part of a larger copyrighted work, it may be copied within the limits of fair dealing or educational institutions exceptions for lecture presentation. If the item is a stand-alone publication, it may require copyright permission before further copying. When sharing entire third-party works sourced from the web in a virtual classroom, linking rather than uploading is the best practice. If uploading a copy is necessary for teaching, be sure to check if no suitable licensed or open access equivalents can be used instead, ensure that you credit the original source, use a legal copy of the original, do not circumvent digital locks or any notices prohibiting distribution, and remove it at the end of term. When linking to online content does not fit your teaching needs, we encourage you to submit a request to reserves@unb.ca. Library staff can guarantee the content is shared within the limits of copyright law and licenses.

Here are examples of sources for images with less copyright restrictions:

Depending on their license, some images with less copyright restrictions may still require attribution as part of their terms of use.

A digital lock, or a “technological protection measure” (TPM), is a technology used to control or restrict access to copyright-protected content. Examples of digital locks include passwords, encryption software, access codes, and digital watermarks. The Copyright Act prohibits the circumvention of digital locks to access copyright-protected works. The fair dealing and educational institutions exceptions do not permit the circumvention of digital locks to obtain access to copyright-protected works. In order to access content behind a digital lock you must obtain the permission of the copyright holder.

Generally, yes. Unless the content is under an open license, copyright permission is required to copy and disseminate third-party content sourced online. As an alternative to obtaining permission to copy material from the web, provide the URL. Check for "Copyright," "Legal Notices" or "Terms and Conditions" to ensure linking is not prohibited. Clearly credit the source. Avoid linking to content that may be sharing copyrighted materials illegally, such as e-books or feature films uploaded online by individual users. Do not circumvent digital locks.

Yes. Materials uploaded to D2L, however, must fall either within the terms of UNB Libraries’ license agreements, fair dealing, and educational institutions exceptions. UNB Libraries strongly encourage instructors to submit a request to reserves@unb.ca when dealing with audiovisual course materials. If your use of audiovisual content exceeds the parameter of fair dealing and educational institutions exceptions, library staff will assess the material, request copyright clearance or permissions, and render the material available to your students.

Yes. The educational institutions exceptions in the Copyright Act permit instructors to show films and news programs on the premises of an educational institution, or in a virtual classroom, to an audience primarily made up of students. However, virtual screenings of feature films require more specific steps. Upon request, library staff will first search for commercially available streaming video. Other steps include:

  • must use legally obtained DVD copies (e.g. not pirated),
  • must not contravene digital locks or any notices prohibiting such use,
  • must indicate that the copy is being made using this specific copyright exception: “You are receiving access to this teaching resource under s. 30.01 of the Copyright Act, for use in this class only,” and
  • must delete any copy you retain 30 days after you have received the final evaluation for the course. 

When showing films in class, we encourage you to submit a request to reserves@unb.ca.

Since you own the copyright to teaching materials you have created, you should advise your students how you would like them to use your recorded lectures. Consider attaching a Creative Commons license to such course materials that will allow students to copy and/or distribute the material under specific conditions.

There are limitations to what can be copied without permission for educational purposes. Fair dealing limits permission-free copying for educational use. Generally, it is possible to copy and distribute up to 10% of a work. For instance, one journal article from an issue, one chapter from a monograph, a short story, poem, play or essay from a book or periodical. The educational institutions exceptions in the Copyright Act also limit the purpose and the place of permission-free copying and displaying to specific contexts: in-person and online classroom presentations and examinations or tests. In the case of third-party content sourced online, consider linking instead of downloading or copying. If linking to this content does not fit your teaching needs, we encourage you to submit a request to reserves@unb.ca.

Yes. However, materials uploaded to D2L or Teams must fall either within the terms of UNB Libraries' licence agreements, fair dealing, or educational institutions exceptions. UNB Libraries strongly encourage instructors to submit a request to reserves@unb.ca when dealing with sound recordings. If your use of a given sound recording exceeds the parameter of fair dealing and educational exceptions, library staff will assess the material, request copyright clearance or permissions, and render the material available to your students.

Determine who is the copyright owner of the work, such as the author or publisher. In advance of using the work, obtain permission or purchase a license. Contact copyright@unb.ca for assistance in this process.

Materials such as workbooks, business case studies, and sheet music are considered consumables and may not be reproduced without the copyright owner's permission. Contact copyright@unb.ca to make these types of materials available to your students.

Educational institutions exceptions in the Copyright Act allow a copyright-protected work to be used in a test or exam, if it is not already available in a commercial format intended for exam use.