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Copyright RCL

Resources and information regarding copyright.

Placing Articles, Digital Works, Etc. on the Learning Management System

Faculty members wishing to place materials on the learning management system (LMS) must follow copyright law.

The following items may be placed on the LMS:

  • Content and links using tools provided within the LMS (such as the YouTube or TedED apps, etc).
  • Links to material in licensed databases available through the library website. (This is preferred over simply downloading the PDF itself and making it available in the LMS. In many cases, database licenses do NOT permit making copies of a PDF available other than for personal use. Most databases provide a “permanent link” as part of an article record that can be copied/pasted into the LMS. Consult a librarian for assistance).
  • Material that falls within the fair use guidelines.
  • Material that is in the public domain.
  • The faculty member’s own material where s/he owns the copyright.


You must follow the TEACH Act guidelines when placing video, film, and music clips on a learning management system.  The TEACH Act is meant for distance education or online and hybrid courses. The TEACH Act allows for the use of  “reasonable and limited” portions of films and videos as well as entire non-dramatic literary and musical works and still images, provided that:

  • The transmission of the digital works is part of an instructional activity at the direction or under the supervision of the faculty member and directly related and of material assistance to the lesson content;
  • The transmission is technologically limited to only those students that are enrolled in the class and the University has in place safeguards preventing students from making digital copies or retaining copies beyond the duration of the coursework (streaming video is recommended); and
  • Notice is provided that materials may be protected by copyright.

Additional information about the TEACH Act is available in the Fair Use tab of this guide.

Copyright in the Classroom FAQ

Can I show all or part of a copyrighted movie in my class?

Yes, you are allowed to show a movie in a face-to-face class as long as the use is educational and the copy used was lawfully made. There are no limits to the portion of the movie you may show.

If the movie is part of a virtual course you may make a "reasonable portion" of the movie available using streaming technology.

Can I display copyrighted images in class?  Can they be used in PowerPoint Slides?

Yes, copyrighted images, charts, cartoons, etc., may be displayed in class. Reproductions of material will need to be considered using the factors for determining fair use. In most cases, displays of copyrighted material in the classroom will always constitute an educational or transformative use and will be considered fair.

Can I show student works?

Yes, you may show student works, but you should remove the name unless you have permission.

Can I hand out journal articles or book chapters?

The distribution (as opposed to the display) of copyrighted material must be carefully considered under the Doctrine of Fair Use.  Whenever possible, provide a link to the content rather than a hard copy.  If linking is not possible, use the four-factor analysis and the resources on this page to determine if the use is fair.