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DeLong Library - Resources for Staff

  Copyright FAQ for Staff

Copyright FAQ

What do I need to know about using others' work in my teaching?

  • All work that someone else has made by someone else (written text - in print or online, slideshows, videos, photos, infographics, music, etc.) is protected by copyright law.
  • You may use someone else’s copyrighted material if:

(Source: UW-Madison's "How To Use Others’ Materials")

What is "fair use"?

  • The Fair Use doctrine to US copyright law allows teachers to use materials without the prior permission of the copyright owner IF they meet the following circumstances.
  1. You use the original for a new purpose such as commentary, news reporting, criticism, or education, or to create a new work that transforms the original by adding new expression.
  2. The original you want to use is primarily informative or factual in nature, as opposed to highly creative. (But, courts often give this factor less weight than the others, so highly creative works can still be subject to fair use when other factors point that direction.)
  3. Where possible, you use only a small portion of the other person’s work and only as much as you need to make your point – such as a single paragraph from a much longer text or a short clip from a much longer video. In some cases, it is still fair use if you need a whole creative work, like a whole video or song, but in general the more you use the less likely it is to be fair use.
  4. Your use won’t be able to replace the original in the marketplace – the owner/artist would still be able to distribute their work as they choose.
    (Source: DPI "Copyright")
  • You must still cite the source, even if it's fair use.

Fair Use


What do I need to know about copyright and online learning (Canvas)?

  • All copyright laws also apply to Canvas and online learning.
  • The easiest way to comply with copyright laws within Canvas is to link to resources rather than upload them. 
    (Source: UW-Oshkosh's "Making Instructional Materials Available to Students in Canvas")
  • We own licences to many, many resources through our paid databases. Visit the ECASD database page to begin searching for our licensed electronic content. Look for and use the permanent link (not the top URL) to share and give direct access. 

What do I need to know about recording and sharing school performances?

What about showing films to classes? Clubs? Over Teams?

  • DeLong has a Swank movie license that allows us to “publicly exhibit movies in any legal form, and thereby is in full compliance with the U.S. Copyright Act.” This means we can show films to groups, clubs, etc., as long as it's in our building.
  • Swank Movie Licensing FAQ

Where can I learn more?

Eau Claire Area School District