Key points to remember:
Most of the legal issues are the same whether the teaching is done in person or online (via a Course Management System, like LEARN).
Linking to Library licensed resources (eBook and eJournal content) is always okay, with the exception of the Harvard Business Review.
Linking to legal, freely available material online is always okay.
When delivering lectures with copyright protected content, remember to limit access to that content to the students in your class. Using LEARN or another centrally supported teaching tool is the best way to do this.
Frequently asked questions and related resources
The following are questions that may arise as you transition your course online. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to email@example.com.
- Can I post a presentation on a learning management system (ex. LEARN) which includes images, figures, tables and/or diagrams from third party sources?
- May I scan a print journal article or a book chapter into a PDF and post it on a learning management system (ex. LEARN)?
- Additional tip: Some app tools that you can use to easily digitize fair dealing amounts of material from your phone to post to LEARN are Genius Scan, Adobe Scan. Please keep in mind that you can make any scanned PDF files more accessible for your students by using an online optical character recognition (OCR) online tool that can be used to convert "non-selectable" text files into machine-readable or recognized text.
- May I upload a PDF of a journal article I obtained through the library’s e-journals to Waterloo's learning management systems (LEARN) for my students to read?
Can Course Reserves staff make materials for my course available? For winter 2021 courses: Requests for the winter term are now being accepted. Course reserves will continue to be electronic only. We ensure that posted material is copyright compliant and accessible. Requests will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. For material that requires copyright clearance, several weeks may be needed to obtain permission or licensing. Read the blog post Can’t you just buy it online? Challenges with commercial textbooks for an insight into some the challenges we face finding electronic options for textbooks, and approaches that the library is taking to support online instruction. Contact your Course Reserves representative for more information or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Using materials you find online
The memo, Copyright implications for teaching with audio-visual materials online, will provide you with the basic information you need to know when selecting audiovisual materials for online classes.
- Can I embed or link to free online video services (ex. YouTube, Vimeo) content in LEARN?
- Where can I find full length, legal copies of audiovisual content that my students can access at home?
- Who owns the copyright in the works I create at Waterloo?
Remote Teaching and Learning: Intellectual Property, from the Associate Vice-President, Academic, Secretariat, and Legal and Immigration Services. This page covers the basics about your intellectual property as covered in Policy 73 as directly related to teaching online.
This resource has been adapted for Canadian universities by the Canadian Association of Research Libraries from material prepared by the Copyright Office, University of Minnesota document Copyright Services, Rapidly shifting your course from in-person to online. Unless otherwise noted, all content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License. We would like to acknowledge some contribution of adaptation language from University of Toronto Scholarly Communications & Copyright Office and Ryerson University Library.