Although these services are similar, their copyright issues differ. With E-Reserves a third party, the librarian, makes an item available to students upon the request of a faculty member. With Desire2Learn (D2L), a faculty member directly posts articles or links to a class site for use by students.
Can I insert portions of films, music, plays, novels, poetry readings, etc. on my class Web site?
The Technology, Education, and Copyright Harmonization Act (TEACH Act) permits instructors, under certain conditions, to post media on their websites for distance learning purposes. This permission is restricted to content that would be presented in a face-to-face classroom and not supplementary material that is assigned as homework. The University of Wisconsin System Office of Academic Affairs discusses this question in an FAQ. Columbia University Libraries provides a summary of the TEACH Act and helpful links.
I am able to access articles using the digital and lending resources available on campus. Can I make these articles available to my students as a digital course packet if it is password protected?
Licenses for most library subscription databases and e-journals allow linking to each article from within our course management system (Desire2Learn). If in doubt, check with your campus librarian.
As digital sources become easier to access, what can and cannot be used for classes (Ex: Can I have students read online textbooks instead of having them buy textbooks)?
Generally, digital sources which are purchased by the institution may be used by faculty and currently-registered students, and are accessed via a login and password. Some publishers are now offering online or electronic versions of their textbooks; however, they are usually not free. For copyrighted digital sources not purchased by the institution, permission must be sought from the copyright holder before using the materials in class.
Can I place multiple chapters from a book on electronic reserve?
For multiple chapters of a book to be placed on e-reserve, permission should first be sought from the publisher.
Can I put a textbook on reserve if my textbook order didn't arrive by the start of classes?
Yes, if the physical textbook to be placed on reserve was appropriately acquired.
I am teaching the same course next semester. Can I just leave all of my reserves/electronic reserves on for the following semester?
Check with your campus librarian to determine if you may use your specific reserves for an additional semester. Policies differ depending upon the source of the material and on fair use policy.
An instructor wants her students to read a full article, in PDF format, from an online journal to which the college library subscribes. Can he save the article to her computer and then upload it to her D2L site for students to download?
The instructor does not need to get permission from the copyright holder if she posts a link in the form of a permanent URL to the article on her D2L site. Most libraries advise their faculty members not to download articles unless they have permission from the copyright holder. The University of Minnesota Libraries discusses this issue among their Copyright Scenarios and also provides instruction about finding the permanent URL to articles licensed by libraries.
Can I simply link to another web site without seeking permission?
Simply linking to a Website does not raise any copyright issues, as you are not copying the material, and it is clear who has authored the page. However, when deep-linking to a page that is not the home page, it is advisable to check the terms and conditions of the web site (if available) to make sure that deep linking is permitted. A good practice when deep-linking is to state the name of the Website to which you are linking, with a link to the Website's home page. This makes the ownership of the linked material clear. When in doubt, it is best to obtain permission from the site's owner or creator before deep-linking to a Web page.
- Washburn University—Copyright Guidelines for Online Courses
Provides rules of thumb to use when considering posting digital materials to the online classroom. Look at the end of the page for a quiz on copyright and online courses, which gives different scenarios and describes the copyright issues involved.
- Copyright Clearance Center—Using Course Management Systems: Guidelines and Best Practices for Copyright Compliance
The Copyright Clearance Center will provide rights to materials not covered under fair use guidelines. Article lists best practices for copyright and course management systems, such as Desire2Learn (D2L).
- American Library Association—Association of College and Research Libraries. Statement on Fair Use and Electronic Reserves
Applies the four-factor fair use test to electronic reserves.
- University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries—Fair Use Determination Checklist
Easy-to-use checklist for identifying fair-use issues with e-reserves.
- University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries—Copyright and Ereserves Site
Policies and statements that apply to library reserves and ereserves.
- Copyright Clearance Center—Using Electronic Reserves: Guidelines and Best Practices for Copyright Compliance
The Copyright Clearance Center will provide rights to materials not covered under fair use guidelines.