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Copyright

Copyright scenarios

Because copyright can be complicated, a useful method for understanding it is by reviewing common scenarios. The following scenarios are ones that have been posed to us over time.

The basic structure is a description of the scenario, followed by an appropriate response, which may include reference to the Fair Use guidelines outlined in the Wheaton College Copyright Guide, linked from copyright.wheaton.edu.

Question:

We already link out to the library for articles in our dept. courses when possible. What about book chapters or articles not available via Buswell? Can we load any to Schoology? Limits? If we're required to do course packs, how do we get this to distance students, especially those overseas?

Answer:

The question for book chapters and articles not available through Buswell depends on conditions under which they were originally obtained. For example, if you received a scanned copy through interlibrary loan (ILL), what does any associated copyright notice say? Alternatively, check with your subject librarian to see if the library might be able to obtain an ebook version to which you can point. Another option is to work with the bookstore to create a course pack, in which case, copyright permissions will be sought and associated fees will be reflected in the cost of the course pack. Consent from the copyright holder is another option.

Question

Do we have to pay the Copyright Clearance Center for things we put in Schoology? (if students don't otherwise have access to the content)

Answer

Within Schoology, link out to material available through the library's online collections, or consult with your subject librarian for alternatives. You can also assess the material for Fair Use and if you decide it qualifies, post it to Schoology along with proper attribution and a copyright notice. Or, work with the bookstore to create a course pack, in which case, copyright permission fees will be factored into the overall cost. Schoology is not set up to obtain author permission and compensate for copyright permission fees. Consent from the copyright holder is another option.

Question

What are our policies for posting material in Schoology?

Answer

See ch. 14 of the Wheaton College Copyright Guide, linked from copyright.wheaton.edu.

Question

What constitutes fair use of video materials owned by the College?

Answer

It depends on what is meant by video materials owned by the College and also the intended use. For example, if you mean chapel recordings, best practice is to link to the publicly available version (e.g. on YouTube). If you mean DVDs or streaming video owned or licensed through the library and the use is non-curricular, see ch. 22 of the Wheaton College Copyright Guide, linked from copyright.wheaton.edu. In general, in-class use will be treated more favorably than posting on Schoology. Generally, copyright permission is required to copy DVDs.

Question 1

What about readings from international sources? in my discipline most of the primary readings are copyrighted in Spain or Latin America. Many of them are from previous centuries. What is the expiration date/ statute of limitations (I am not even sure of the correct vocabulary to use).

Question 2

I have some primary sources that I originally purchased in Southeast Asia/Oceania that I have drawn from. I also use some Native American material from a book that is no longer in print; I know there is other online material from him but I have yet to search that out… What is the policy for out-of-print books?

Answers

‚ÄčIn terms of primary sources originating elsewhere (presumably printed works), an examination of the physical items and the amount you intend to use is advisable. Start by assessing whether copyright applies or whether the work has passed into the public domain (see chs. 5 and 6 of the Wheaton College Copyright Guide, linked from copyright.wheaton.edu, for guidance). Whether the work is copyrighted is also often found in the work itself. Chs. 5 and 6 are also useful reference points for out-of-print books. Just because they are out-of-print does not mean they lack the same copyright protections

Question

What are the differences (if any) between posting a pdf of a book chapter on Schoology, printing copies of book chapter for students, and making the book available to students to make their own copy?  Which of these options need copyright permission?

Answer

From a copyright/Fair Use perspective, there is no difference. Each of these scenarios should undergo a Fair Use analysis. For example, if the book chapter is the key chapter of the work — the main reason someone would purchase the book to read it — then Fair Use may be questionable.

Question 1

Is the student per reading copyright charge for readings posted on Schoology (without links) the same as for the same reading included in a LAD coursepack? If not, would it be more likely lower or higher? Is this charge passed directly on to Schoology users or absorbed (in part) by the Buswell budget?

Question 2

Are there other LEGAL ways to make required readings available to students free of charge, such as returning to Buswell course reading reserve folders, emailing them directly to students, or assigning a TA to gather the course readings which students can then copy or scan?

Answers

From a Fair Use and copyright law perspective, there is no difference between posting readings on Schoology and in a course pack. However, because LAD is a for profit entity, they are required to seek copyright permission for everything included in course packs (unless the reading happens to be for something that’s out of copyright, made available via a Creative Commons license, or you can produce a consent from the copyright holder, for example). The updated copyright guide strongly recommends that faculty link out to readings available through the library’s online collections or work with your subject librarian to identify alternative approaches, which could include purchasing an ebook or using course reserves through the library. You also have the option of assessing whether a scanned copy of your readings meets the criteria for Fair Use and, if so, posting it directly to Schoology with proper attribution and a copyright notice as defined in the Wheaton Copyright Guide, linked from copyright.wheaton.edu. Alternatively, you can choose to work with the bookstore to create a course pack, but understand that they will seek copyright permission and any associated fees will be passed on to the buyer of the course pack.

Questions

Student costs weigh heavily on faculty when selecting course materials. I am concerned that Follett and/or LAD have yet to make available a clear set of guidelines for … interpretation of fair use/copyright … this lack of clarity undermines faculty ability to choose cost effective materials for our students … :

1. What percentage (or how many pages) can I assign of a single authored text on Schoology?

2. What percentage (or how many pages) can I assign [o]f an edited text on Schoology?

3. How many articles can I post on Schoology?

Answers

Copyright guidance for the campus is the responsibility of the library and a revised Wheaton College Copyright Guide is available at https://copyright.wheaton.edu. Fair Use law does not offer a specific percentage formula or a specific number of articles, and this has been affirmed by campus legal counsel. Instead, when considering whether to post materials to Schoology, use the four criteria for determining Fair Use (the Wheaton College Copyright Guide, linked from copyright.wheaton.edu, provides more detail and guidance). Generally, posting a single chapter of a copyrighted book is likely allowable although there are caveats. For example, if the selected chapter is what is known as the "heart of the work" — think of this as the main reason someone might buy the book — then Fair Use may not be strong. This is why we recommend that whenever possible, faculty link out to online materials through the library, since copyright issues do not apply. If the material you wish to assign is not available online, check with your subject librarian about alternatives, including the possibility of purchasing an ebook version to link to or using course reserves in the library.

Question

We use many articles from hard-to-find journals, some from other continents. Are copyright payments also (actually) made to journals in Ghana, Uganda, India, etc.? For materials we use that do not have any copyright (public access, workshop materials rather than academic publishers) restrictions, can we freely use? We have strong relationships with many of our authors. In what/all cases can a letter from the author remove an article or book portion from needing to pay publisher royalties? For such a letter, do we need to get those annually, or can we request that it be 1) in perpetuity or 2) for a given time frame (e.g., 5 years)?

Answer

You should assess the material for Fair Use (see the Wheaton College Copyright Guide, linked from copyright.wheaton.edu, for guidance). When it comes to international or older materials, you should start by assessing whether copyright applies or whether the work has passed into the public domain (see chs. 5 and 6 of the Copyright Guide for guidance). Whether the work is copyrighted is also often found in the work itself. And yes, consent from a copyright holder will allow posting to Schoology or inclusion in the course pack free of copyright charges. There is no need to seek consent from the copyright holder annually, so long as the language of the grant is specific and broad enough to cover the proposed use. (For example, a grant of permission from the copyright holder for "perpetual use in course readings, paper or digital/online, for ____ courses taught at Wheaton College" would be good enough to cover all use in course packs/Schoology.)

Question

For small seminar courses that heavily use individual book chapters, is it possible to put copies of the chapters on library reserve without charging fees to students?

Answer

Yes, making materials available via library reserve generally provides a cost-free option to students to access reading materials. It may also be possible to post scanned copies of book chapters in Schoology as an alternative if a Fair Use analysis shows that this is allowable. This will be a reading-by-reading analysis.