Copyright and Fair Use Information

Copyright and Fair Use Information

    • Kettering College Copyright Policy

      Outlines the rights and responsibilities of Kettering College faculty, staff, and students regarding use of copyright protected materials.

    • An Overview of Copyright for Kettering College Faculty, Staff, and Students

      This video presents an overview of copyright considerations when using materials for instructional purposes.

    • Copyright and Media

      The Federal Copyright Act (Title 17, US code) governs how copyrighted materials, including films, may be utilized publicly. Unless the the film has been acquired with a public display license or a public display license has been obtained for a particular screening, the video may not be displayed outside the home. This compliance requirement applies to colleges and universities regardless of whether admission is charged, or whether the institution is commercial or non-profit. Public showings of films without an appropriate license put the college at risk of liability.

      When a university advertises film screenings as free and open to the public, and invites anyone to attend, this negates application of the classroom exemption and may only be done if the proper license has been obtained.

      Licensing agreements for home streaming services (Amazon Prime, Netflix, HBO Max etc.) often limit these services to personal use so they may not be used for academic purposes in either the face-to-face or the online environment.

      Section 110(1) of the copyright code permits instructors or students under their instruction at a nonprofit educational institution to display films/videos in the course of face-to-face teaching activities, in a classroom or similar place devoted to instruction.  This section of the copyright code does not apply to the online environment.

      Options for use of media on the online environment:

      Streaming media for which the institution has licensing agreements (Films on Demand, Kanopy, etc.) may be embedded in an online course.  If there is a film you wish to have available for an online course and the library does not have streaming rights, contact the Audiovisual Librarian to see if streaming rights or a licensing agreement can be obtained.

      The TEACH Act

      For non-profit academic institutions that meet the requirements of the TEACH Act, The TEACH Act amendment to the Copyright Act, codified at § 110(2), permits the performance of a reasonable and limited portion of films in an online classroom. Under the TEACH Act, there is the express limitation on quantity, and an entire film will rarely constitute a reasonable and limited portion.

      Instructor Requirements under the TEACH Act:

        • The performance or display is made by or under the supervision of an instructor.
        • The performance or display is directly related and integral to the class content, not ancillary like Reserves
        • The work is part of systematic mediated instructional activities
        • The “transmission is made solely for and limited to students officially enrolled in the course.”
        • Materials that are used for performance or display must be lawfully made and acquired.
        • Instructor must use reasonable controls to prevent copying and retention of the work, those that would “discourage most users.” (streaming is suggested for video; thumbnails, watermarks and disabling right click copy function can be used to protect images.)
        • A digital copy may be made from an analog copy when no digital version is available or when the digital version is technologically protected.
        • Work must carry a warning notice to students, such as “This performance is copyrighted material permitted for use under the TEACH Act. Viewing is restricted to students enrolled in this course. This material is not to be retained or further distributed.

      A third option for online use is a Fair Use evaluation.

      This requires a thoughtful Fair Use evaluation of all four Fair Use factors with the evaluation clearly supporting Fair Use. The material being used must also have been lawfully obtained.

      If the use is determined to be Fair Use:

      • Identify the item as being protected by copyright and that no further copying or distribution of it is permitted;
      • Put reasonable controls in place to prevent copying and redistribution;
      • Restrict access to individuals in the course;
      • Close access once the activity involving the material is completed.

      A fair use evaluation must be done each time the film is being used in a course.  If the film will be used continually over multiple semesters, it would be best to try to negotiate a licensing agreement or to seek a substitute resource.  Work with the Audiovisuals Librarian regarding either of these options.

    • US Copyright Office

      The US Copyright Office oversees the administration of copyright in the US. Their website provides access to a variety of resources regarding US copyright. Click here to access their website

    • Campus Guide to Copyright Compliance

      Developed by the Copyright Clearance Center, this site provides answers to copyright compliance questions in higher education.

    • Copyright Clearance Center

      This site is designed to facilitate obtaining clearance to use copyright-protected materials. You can see it here.

    • Copyright Crash Course

      Sponsored by the University of Texas system, this site, while a little clumsy in design, is a wealth of information on copyright issues. Access it here.

    • Copyright and Intellectual Property

      From the Association of Research Libraries, this site provides numerous links and resources regarding copyright, intellectual property and fair use.

    • Copyright Essentials for Educators

      Here is a resource from Colorado State University for understanding copyright within the educational setting. Use the Copyright Use Checklist to verify that your use of copyright protected materials is appropriate.

    • Cornell University Library Copyright Information Center

      This site provides an overview of how copyright works along with useful resources to answer many of your copyright questions, including a table to help determine when material passes into the public domain.

    • Copyright and Fair Use

      Sponsored by the Stanford University Libraries, the Council on Library Resources, and FindLaw Internet Legal Resources, this site provides links to primary documents, current legislation, issues, and internet resources on copyright and fair use.

    • Fair Use Checklist

      This form can be used to evaluate and document determination of fair use. Click here to access a downloadable copy

    • Measuring Fair Use: The Four Factors

      This tutorial from the Standford University Libraries explains the four factors of fair use and how they can be applied.

    • Fair Use Evaluator

      This tool will help you better understand how to determine “fairness” of a use under the U.S. Copyright Code:

      Fair Use Evaluator


    • Know Your Copy Rights: Resources for Teaching Faculty

      Presented in an FAQ format, this document answers many questions about using copyright protected materials in both the traditional face-to-face classroom and in an online environment.




      Comprehensive information on licensing digital information. See it here.

    • U.S. Copyright Office Home Page

      Here you will find all key publications of the U.S. Copyright Office, links to the copyright law and to the homepages of other copyright-related organizations, the latest copyright regulations and a link to online copyright records cataloged since 1978.


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