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OER Tools for Librarians: Copyright

CSCU Guide to Copyright

CSCU Copyright Guide

This essential guide was created by the Fair Use Task Force of the CSCU OER Advisory Council.  The guide includes an overview of copyright, a step-by-step approach to considering the application of Fair Use to any copyrighted material, and many more resources.

Requesting Permission

Public Domain

Fair Use

Washington College of Law - Best Practices for Fair Use and OER


Robert L. Powell Library - Code of Best Practices in Fair Use


Questions about Posting Content in Blackboard:

Q. I have a textbook or periodical that I want to share with my students but I don't want to make them buy it. How many pages am I legally allowed to scan or copy and post in Blackboard?

A. None. You may not scan pages of a textbook into Blackboard. To do so violates all four factors of Fair Use. You may request permission from the copyright holder or purchase a license from the Copyright Clearance Center. Another option is to look for similar content in the library's resources, or Open Educational Resource (OER) textbooks, or Open Access Journals for sharable content. (Source: Central Penn College,

Q. Can I stream videos from my Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, ... etc. account?

A. No.  This would be dictated by the Terms of Use or Membership Agreement that you conceded to when you opened your account. Typically there is wording that would prohibit use in class. Look for words such as personal or private, non-commercial, non-transferrable, limited license. The license agreement overrides Fair Use arguments. Due to this license restriction Polycom will not allow Netflix to be shown over it [re-distribution]. (Source: Central Penn College,

Unless - Netflix does have some documentaries that have a special grant for a one time educational showing. To find out if what you would like to show has this permission go to the "Only On Netflix" section of switch to the All-alphabetical listing, search for your title and click on the title to see the details. See 13th as an example of a Netflix original documentary that has this permission. It still would not be able to be shown over Polycom. (Source: Central Penn College,

CC Licensing

Add here content from CC Cert LibGuide

Distance Learning, Fair Use, and the TEACH Act

A terrific, clear LibGuide summarizing e-reserves and the limits on use of materials in online classrooms / distance learning: