Skip to main content

Copyright and Fair Use: Common Scenarios - Online Instruction

Distance Education

Videotape of Telecourse

SCENARIO 19: Institution A creates a telecourse. The course contains copyrighted text, video, audio, and photographs relevant to the class. If Institution A did not obtain permission to use the copyrighted materials, can Institution A show the videotape of the telecourse to students who have signed up for a telecourse at Institution A?

FAIR USE? Yes. Most experts believe that showing the videotape to students enrolled in the telecourse is a fair use.

Videotape of Telecourse Shown at Other Institutions

Assume same facts as in SCENARIO 19. If Institution A did not obtain permission to use the copyrighted materials, can students at Institution B enroll and receive credit for the course at Institution B?

FAIR USE? Yes. Most experts believe that showing the videotape to students enrolled in the telecourse is a fair use.

Telecourse via the Internet

Assume same facts as in SCENARIO 19. What if the telecourse is transmitted via the Internet?

FAIR USE? If the telecourse is broadcast and there is open access, the audience is no longer clearly defined. A rebroadcast over the Internet to a global audience is probably not a fair use. A restricted broadcast of the telecourse is a fair use.

Remote Access of Searchable Database via the Internet

SCENARIO 20: A faculty member at Institution C creates a searchable database of copyrighted materials. The database is used as a part of a distance learning course and is available on the institution's webserver. Students enrolled in the course access the course materials from home, work, and other areas that are not traditional classrooms. Access to the database is controlled and available only to students enrolled in the class. The faculty member did not obtain permission to use the copyrighted materials.

FAIR USE? Yes. So long as the materials are being accessed for educational instruction and access remains controlled.

Student Project for Distribution on the Internet

SCENARIO 21: A student is taking a distance learning class in which the instructor has required that a particular assignment be created for unlimited distribution on the web. A student includes an audio segment of copyrighted music (video, news broadcast, non-dramatic literary work).

FAIR USE? No. Since the teacher specifically stated that the project is being created for distribution over the web, this is not a fair use of any of the listed copyrighted materials and permission should be obtained.

Student Project on the Internet with Restricted Access

Same facts as SCENARIO 21, however, access to each student's Web page will be restricted to other students in the class.

FAIR USE? Yes.

Subject Guide

Amy Rice's picture
Amy Rice
Contact:
Ask for me at the Learning Commons Service Desk OR book an appointment with me using the link above
208-467-8609