Pedagogical and technical issues may make the shift from in-person to remote instruction a challenge but copyright concerns should not be a significant barrier.
Key Points to Remember
- Most of the legal issues are the same whether the teaching is done in person or online.
- If it was allowable in class, it is often allowable online – especially when your online access is limited to the same enrolled students.
- You can continue to apply the Queen’s Fair Dealing Policy.
Can I link to or play videos in class from sources like YouTube?
Linking to publicly available online content like news websites, existing online videos, etc. is rarely a copyright issue so long as you avoid content that looks obviously infringing itself. For example, a user posted YouTube video of the entire "Avengers: Endgame" movie. Linking to most Youtube videos, especially ones that allow sharing and embedding, should be fine.
You can show the following works in class, as long as it's for educational or training purposes, not for profit, on UofW premises, and shown before an audience consisting primarily of students:
- a movie or other cinematographic work, provided that the work is not an infringing copy (i.e. legally obtained or purchased) and you do not circumvent a Digital Lock to access the work (see FAQ 3.3).
- a video or other subject matter that is available through the Internet, e.g. available on YouTube, as long as you satisfy the following criteria:
- you don't break or circumvent a Digital Lock to access or obtain a copy of the work (see FAQ 3.3);
- there is no clear and visible notice on the website or on the work itself that prohibits the use or reproduction of the work (more than just a copyright symbol);
- the website is not questionable, infringing, or clearly using the work without the copyright owner's consent; and
- you identify the source of the work,
- a copy of a news program or news commentary program (excluding documentaries) made by you or UofW.
Can I provide a public viewing of videos from Netflix or other commercial streaming services in my class?
Other options include:
- Search Omni at Leddy Library to see if the title is in our catalogue or reviewing our streaming platforms.
- YouTube, or any other publicly accessible site, to see if the clip you wish to use is legitimately available
- Purchasing or borrowing a physical commercial copy of the video (such as VHS, DVD or Blu-Ray)
- Placing a suggestion for purchase to the library.
I gave a PowerPoint presentation in class which includes materials from a textbook (including multiple graphs and images) as well as articles and photos from various Leddy Library e-journals. Can I post a video or audio recording of the class lecture (such as a recorded voice-over Powerpoint of the lesson) on Blackboard Learn? I’ll be sure to cite where the figures came from.
The Copyright Act allows educational institutions to communicate lessons (which includes parts of lessons, tests or examinations) on-line, to students enrolled in a specific course, for education or training purposes, and record such lessons, as long as the inclusion of any third party copyrighted materials in such lessons is allowed under another exception under the Copyright Act, e.g. fair dealing or other educational exceptions (the “Lessons Exception”). The student can also make a copy of such telecommunicated lesson to be viewed or listened to at a later time, as long as:
- the student and the institution must destroy the recording, fixation or copy within 30 days after receipt by students of their final course evaluations;
- the institution must take reasonable measures to limit the audience to students only (e.g. secure password-protected access only), and to prevent the students from fixing, reproducing or communicating such lessons except as permitted under this exception.
The recordings cannot be sold, rented or distributed widely (beyond the audience of students enrolled in the class) or to the public, in any way that prejudices the copyright owner.
This exception would allow you to post a video or audio recording of your class lecture, including a recorded voice-over Powerpoint of the lesson, on Blackboard Learn as long as you comply with the destruction and other requirements described above, and the “best practices” under FAQ 3.6.
However, for materials from Leddy Library's licensed electronic resources, the terms of the digital licence will determine how such excerpts can be used – see Leddy Library License Information.
Can I Make a digital Copy of a Physical Video (DVD, VHS) to share with my class?
Unfortunately, No. The copyright act contains provisions for libraries to create preservation copies of works under specific conditions. However, unless the work is provided under an open license such as a creative commons license then you cannot copy and share a full video with your class. Also consider the presence of a digital lock.