In this digital age, copyright and fair use have become increasingly complex. In truth, the copyright law has not kept pace with the incredible advancements in technology that take place at an increasingly rapid rate.
The library participates in the Office of Distance Education & Learning Technologies’ Certification Series offered on an ongoing basis to faculty preparing to teach online. The library gives a presentation on copyright in the educational setting. The PowerPoint from that presentation can be found on this Guide, and in the ODELT’s iTeach Online Blackboard course.
The university has an annual license with the Copyright Clearance Center. Faculty can visit its RIghtFind to see if materials not already subscribed to by Bell Library can be used without the faculty member having to ask for permission.
The Library regularly gives copyright presentations in the ODELT certification series.
Below we have some helpful tips if you are trying to share an article with your class.
If you have questions, please feel free to contact the library at LibraryCopyright@tamucc.edu
The first consideration when using a work is whether the work is copyrighted. If the work is not copyrighted, it is in the Public Domain and is freely available for all use. To see if the work is in the Public Domain, try using this tool: Public Domain Slider. If the work is copyrighted, use the decision chart and information below to assess your use of the content.
Open access content is released under an open license that allows for more uses than an all rights reserved distinction. Depending on the license, you may be able to copy, reproduce, distribute, perform, create derivative works, and/or sell the content.
Creative Commons licenses make it easy to publish and reuse open content. Look for works with Creative Commons licenses. Open access publishers are likely to release their content under one of these licenses. Check the terms of the license before proceeding with your use of the content.
For more information about Open Educational Resources visit: http://guides.library.tamucc.edu/oer
If the Bell Library has license agreements that allow our university community access to e-resources, links to that material can be placed in BlackBoard using the prefix below:
If the copyrighted content you wish to use is not available in the library's collections, the work may be covered under the University's annual Academic License through Copyright Clearance Center. You can go to RightFind (see link below) to determine whether or not you can use the copyrighted content without having to ask for permission from the rights holder.
If you are off campus you will be prompted to set up an account. When setting up your account make sure to use your TAMU-CC email address: '@tamucc.edu'.
Once at the search page simply enter the title of the book or journal in the search box and select search.
Once the best match has been selected, verify how you can use the item under the “How can I use this copyrighted content?” section.
You can click "View more uses" to get more information on how each item is specifically allowed to be used.
Read the terms that apply to how you can use an item before posting to stay in compliance with copyright.
An item not covered by the academic license will appear with the red prohibition sign, as seen below:
Fair Use and the Teach Act are exemptions to copyright to afford users certain rights to use copyrighted content regardless of its rights designation. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more assistance with Fair Use or the Teach Act.
Stanford University provides a useful guide to Fair Use. The Copyright Advisory Network offers the Fair Use Evaluator to guide your application of the four factors of fair use. Columbia University provides this Fair Use Checklist.
You are exempt from copyright considerations if you use the materials in accordance with the TEACH Act or Section 110(2) of the Copyright Code. Here is an explanation of this part of the law. There is also a checklist available to help you identify whether a use is sanctioned under the TEACH Act.
If you have an article not covered by our academic copyright license that you still wish to use, you can request the material be placed on E-Reserves through Bell Library. In some cases, copyright permission can be purchased and the library will pay the fee up to a certain amount. If the fee exceeds the library's cap, your department can make up the remaining cost, or you may have to find new material to use.