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Supporting our HSC Faculty Transitioning to Virtual Instruction

by Jonathan Pringle on 2020-03-23T06:00:00-06:00 in Teaching & Learning | Comments

Considering the sudden nature in which instruction is switching from face-to-face to virtual, HSC faculty might be wondering about their right to use certain copyrighted materials for instructional purposes. The library world is already responding with helpful tips for the "rapid shift" that is being asked of faculty in these situations. One such example is from our colleagues at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. But you may have more specific questions about content types and whether or not you are "allowed" to use certain materials in an online environment for instruction. For example, should you screen that five minute section of that YouTube video you found online? Or what if you need a whole book to be made disseminated online and it is only available in print? Or what about the difference between sharing these materials through BBLearn or just opening up something from your private social media account? Your sudden shift to online instruction likely leaves you with a few questions... and a decision to make around copyright risk. 

The good news is that HSLIC staff can help you untangle your particular quandary and coach you on some things to consider with all of this. Please note: WE ARE NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR LEGAL COUNSEL. We consider ourselves copyright coaches. The Association of College & Research Libraries recently hosted a webinar titled "Copyright for Campus Closures: Exploring the Copyright Issues around Moving Instruction and Reference Online." Presenter Sara Benson (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign) brought up several important points when moving to online instruction. When contacting us with your copyright concern, you might think about the following:

  1. Are the materials you want to use now in the public domain?
  2. Do the materials have a creative commons license?
  3. Have you learned about where you can find OERs (Open Educational Resources)? 
  4. Confused about the face-to-face teaching exception? Or how you could apply aspects of the TEACH act? 
  5. Do you know how Fair Use is applied? Or how it can be interpreted in a court of law?
  6. Do you know about the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the streaming video exception? 

If you have questions about any of this or would like to consult with us, please contact me, Jonathan Pringle, HSLIC Scholarly Communications and Digital Librarian, at

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