Digital Classroom

Frequently asked questions about copyright and UBC learning management systems (Connect, Vista and MEDICOL) and other digital classroom environments:

3.1 Is there any difference between posting something on my own website versus posting something on UBC’s learning management systems?

3.2 What about if I want to email something to my students?

3.3 What is a Digital Lock?

3.4 May I post a PDF of a journal article I obtained through the library’s e-journals, or a book chapter, to UBC’s learning management systems for my students to read?

3.5 I gave a PowerPoint presentation in a class lecture which includes materials from a textbook (including multiple graphs and images), as well as articles and photos from various UBC Library e-journals. Can I post a video or audio recording of the class lecture (such as a recorded voice-over Powerpoint of the lesson) on UBC’s learning management systems? I’ll be sure to cite where the figures came from.

3.6 What are the “best practices” that I should follow anytime that I post copyrighted materials on UBC’s learning or course management systems?

3.7 If I distribute two “short excerpts” of a textbook, one distributed as a class handout on the first day of class and one posted on my UBC learning or course management system on the last day of class, are these considered to be separate instances of “fair dealing”?

3.8 Is it okay to use images or other material from the internet for educational purposes?

3.9 Do I need to ask permission to link to a website?

3.10 May I post examples of my students’ work on my UBC’s learning or course management system?

3.11 I adopted a textbook for my course, and the book representative gave me instructional materials, including images, PowerPoint files, etc. Can I distribute any of those materials to my students on paper or in my UBC learning or course management system?

 

3.1 Is there any difference between posting something on my own website versus posting something on UBC’s learning management systems?

There is an important distinction between publicly accessible websites, and websites that are not publicly accessible. UBC’s learning management system is a password protected, secure website that is restricted to and accessible only by UBC students segregated by the specific course, class or program. By contrast, most private websites are publicly accessible, in the sense that anyone may visit it, not just your students.

Posting short excerpts of material on UBC’s learning management systems may be permitted by one of UBC’s digital licences, or in accordance with the Fair Dealing Requirements (see also the “best practices” under FAQ 3.6), for the purposes of research, private study, education, parody, satire, criticism, review or news reporting. In other situations, you will likely need to obtain consent from the copyright owner.

By contrast, posting a copyrighted work on your own website or some other publicly accessible website would generally be considered to be copyright infringement, unless it was done with the copyright owner’s consent.

An important thing to remember is that just because you have permission to post copyrighted materials on UBC’s learning management systems does not mean that you have permission to post the same materials on your own personal website or any other publicly accessible website.

Please note that some UBC digital licenses do restrict the making or dissemination of copies and limit fair dealing rights. Therefore, if a UBC digital license only grants specific, limited usage rights, and the Fair Dealing Requirements give more generous usage rights, the more limited terms of the UBC digital licenses apply.

3.2 What about if I want to email something to my students?

You should only e-mail copyrighted materials to your students if this is specifically permitted under one of UBC’s digital licences. If the materials have been posted on UBC’s secure learning management systems, you can also e-mail a link to those posted materials to your students (who would then login to the UBC learning management system to access the materials).

3.3 What is a Digital Lock?

The Copyright Act refers to “technology protection measures”, which are commonly known as TPMs or digital locks. The term describes any technology, device or component that controls or restricts the access to or copying of a work (for example, password protection).

The Copyright Act prohibits the circumvention of digital lock that restricts or controls access to a work. This means that if there is a digital lock that restricts or prevents access to the work, you must not circumvent the digital lock to access the work, even if you would have be able to copy the work relying on an exception to infringement to reproduce or use a copyrighted work in your classroom, or to post a copy onto a learning management system (such as any of the educational exceptions, or the fair dealing exception).

3.4 May I post a PDF of a journal article I obtained through the library’s e-journals, or a book chapter, to UBC’s learning management systems for my students to read?

Posting a single article from a periodical publication or a book chapter to UBC’s secure learning management system may be permitted under the Fair Dealing Requirements (see also the “best practices” in FAQ 3.6), unless this is not allowed under the terms of UBC’s digital licence for the specific e-journal or e-book provided by the UBC Library. Please contact ubc-copyright@interchange.ubc.ca for assistance to confirm whether the terms of the UBC digital licence allow this posting. You are strongly encouraged to use the Library course reserves tool in Connect to provide access to Library e-resources, such as full text journal articles. For help uploading PDFs into the Library course reserves, please contact permissions.office@ubc.ca.

While posting a PDF of a journal article may be possible, it is worth considering whether there is a better alternative. In the Library’s experience, a direct link is the best way to allow your students to have access to the most recent version of an article. This is because it is common for publishers to make corrections or changes, such as adding supplementary material, to articles after initial publication. If you upload a PDF, obviously, your students will not see any changes that are made after a copy has been uploaded.

Using the Library course reserves tool in Connect or the Library eLink tool to create a hyperlink to the article also allows the UBC Library to track use and obtain data about the importance of a particular journal to the campus. For more information, see http://courses.library.ubc.ca and UBC Library’s eLink page. Before linking, read FAQ 3.9 below, for useful tips on how to link to another website.

It is important to remember that the Fair Dealing Requirements and UBC digital licences generally do not permit you to upload to a website, or create links on a website, that is not part of UBC’s secure network, and that is open to the world at large.

3.5 I gave a PowerPoint presentation in a class lecture which includes materials from a textbook (including multiple graphs and images), as well as articles and photos from various UBC Library e-journals. Can I post a video or audio recording of the class lecture (such as a recorded voice-over Powerpoint of the lesson) on UBC’s learning management systems? I’ll be sure to cite where the figures came from.

The Copyright Act allows educational institutions to communicate lessons (which includes parts of lessons, tests or examinations) on-line, to students enrolled in a specific course, for education or training purposes, and record such lessons, as long as the inclusion of any third party copyrighted materials in such lessons is allowed under another exception under the Copyright Act, e.g. fair dealing or other educational exceptions (the “Lessons Exception”). The student can also make a copy of such telecommunicated lesson to be viewed or listened to at a later time, as long as:

  • the student and the institution must destroy the recording, fixation or copy within 30 days after receipt by students of their final course evaluations;
  • the institution must take reasonable measures to limit the audience to students only (e.g. secure password-protected access only), and to prevent the students from fixing, reproducing or communicating such lessons except as permitted under this exception.

The recordings cannot be sold, rented or distributed widely (beyond the audience of students enrolled in the class) or to the public, in any way that prejudices the copyright owner.

This exception would allow you to post a video or audio recording of your class lecture, including a recorded voice-over Powerpoint of the lesson, on UBC’s secure learning management system, as long as you comply with the destruction and other requirements described above, and the “best practices” under FAQ 3.6.

However, for materials from UBC’s licensed electronic resources, the terms of the UBC digital licence will determine how such excerpts can be used – see FAQ 3.1. Please contact ubc-copyright@interchange.ubc.ca for assistance to confirm whether the terms of the UBC digital licence allow this posting. You are also encouraged to use the Library course reserves tool in Connect to provide access to Library e-resources.

3.6 What are the “best practices” that I should follow anytime that I post copyrighted materials on UBC’s learning or course management systems?

If you wish to rely on the fair dealing or other educational exceptions to post copyrighted materials on UBC’s secure course management systems, you need to ensure that such postings are subject to reasonable safeguards to prevent students from distributing, transmitting or disseminating such materials to persons outside the course or class. At a minimum, you should abide by the following best practices and limitations:

  • You are strongly encouraged to use the Library course reserves tool in Connect to provide access to Library e-resources, such as full text journal articles.
  • You are also strongly encouraged to use Connect to distribute and post course materials.
  • Unless you have the copyright holder’s permission to do so, only materials that are either “Short Excerpts” (as defined in the Fair Dealing Requirements) may be posted onto Connect.
  • Copies made for the purposes of criticism, review or news reporting must include a credit to the author and source of the materials.
  • Making Short Excerpts available in the students’ choice of format is acceptable, as long as all of the Fair Dealing Requirements are met.
  • Only include materials that are reasonably necessary for the purpose of the course and try to limit it to as few materials as possible within the definition of “Short Excerpts”.
  • Restrict access to the learning management system site to students enrolled in your specific course or class. Examples of access restrictions are password protection or other secure authentication process which identifies the student at the time of login. The Connect, Vista and MEDICOL learning management systems provide suitable access restrictions.
  • Include a clearly visible notice on all materials you post, that states:“This copy is made solely for your personal use for research, private study, education, parody, satire, criticism or review only. Further reproduction, fixation, distribution, transmission, dissemination, communication, or any other uses, may be an infringement of copyright if done without securing the permission of the copyright owner. You may not distribute, e-mail or otherwise communicate these materials to any other person.”
  • Remind your students to protect their passwords, so that unauthorized users cannot access UBC’s learning management systems.
  • If you’ve posted into a learning management system or otherwise telecommunicated a recording or a copy of lessons, test or exam that contains third party copyrighted material, you must comply with the provisions of the Lessons Exception (see FAQ 3.5 for more information).
  • When uploading materials directly into Connect, confirm the copyright authorization(s) that apply to the material(s) on the copyright metadata form.

3.7 If I distribute two “short excerpts” of a textbook, one distributed as a class handout on the first day of class and one posted on my UBC learning or course management system on the last day of class, are these considered to be separate instances of “fair dealing”?

There should be no copying of the same copyrighted work beyond the “Short Excerpt” limits (as defined in the Fair Dealing Requirements). Therefore, if you are copying different Short Excerpts from one book, combine all copying instances to determine whether you fall within the “Short Excerpt” limitations. Copying or communicating multiple Short Excerpts from the same copyright-protected work with the effect of exceeding the copying limits under “Short Excerpt” definition would be considered systemic or cumulative copying, which is strictly prohibited.

3.8 Is it okay to use images or other material from the internet for educational purposes?

Materials on the internet are treated the same way under copyright law as any other copyrighted materials, so if you want to use them, you have to either fall within one of the Copyright Act’s exceptions or have permission from the copyright owner.

There is an educational exception available under the Copyright Act which allows you to use, copy, e-mail or perform these internet materials for classroom presentations, or for posting into a UBC secure learning management system (for educational or training purposes), as long as you satisfy the following three criteria:

  1. you do not break or circumvent a digital lock to access or obtain a copy of the work (see FAQ 3.3);
  2. there is no clear and visible notice on the website or on the work itself that prohibits the use or reproduction of the work (more than just a copyright symbol); and
  3. the website is not questionable, infringing or clearly using the works without the copyright owner’s consent. Please note that you must also identify the source of the work and, if available and applicable, the author, performer, maker or broadcaster of the work.

3.9 Do I need to ask permission to link to a website?

Generally no, but you should check the website’s ‘Terms of Use’ section to confirm whether it has any specific linking prohibitions. If there are none, you may link to the website but make sure that you do not “frame” the other webpage or any content from the other webpage. If the web-page does not clearly identify the website and content owner, you should also include the full details of the author, copyright owner and source of the materials by the link. This will avoid any suggestion that the website is your own material or that your website is somehow affiliated with the other site. You should also avoid linking to websites that illegally share copyrighted materials or do not appear to be legitimate.

3.10 May I post examples of my students’ work on my UBC’s learning or course management system?

Only if you have obtained the student’s permission. However, if the work contains third party copyrighted materials, you will also need to determine whether such materials fall within the Fair Dealing Requirements, or whether you or the student may need to obtain consent from the copyright owner to post such materials into UBC’s learning management systems.

It is a good practice to ask students in advance whether they consent to have their work posted onto UBC’s learning management systems and keep written records of the permissions given. As UBC has developed student consent forms for these purposes, please contact the Scholarly Communications & Copyright Office at ubc-copyright@interchange.ubc.ca for assistance.

3.11 I adopted a textbook for my course, and the book representative gave me instructional materials, including images, PowerPoint files, etc. Can I distribute any of those materials to my students on paper or in my UBC learning or course management system?

If such materials are short excerpts that do not exceed 10% of the textbook in accordance with the Fair Dealing Requirements, then you may distribute them as a class handout or post these materials onto one of UBC’s secure learning management systems, using the “best practices” under FAQ 3.6.

You may need to check with your textbook representative for further information on this matter, except for the publishers listed below who have provided UBC with specific consents to use their copyrighted works. Currently, these publishers include:

Pearson allows a course instructor who has adopted a Pearson textbook to reproduce Pearson-owned content items included within the textbook and/or instructor support materials (e.g. images, art, tables, solutions/answers, test questions), for the following limited purposes: inclusion in a password-protected course website, use as presentation material in your classroom lectures, or inclusion in paper tests/exams, hand-outs, or assignments that you create for the sole purpose of supporting your course syllabus. Please note that you may not photocopy, scan or reproduce any Pearson-owned content items included in the text or Instructor Support Materials for purposes of including them in course packs or other saleable works or products.

Wiley will allow a course instructor who has adopted a Wiley textbook to reproduce, on a limited license basis and not for further distribution,  Wiley-owned content items included within the textbook and/or instructor support materials (e.g. images, art, tables, solutions/answers, test questions), for the following limited educational purposes: inclusion in a password-protected course website, use as presentation material in your classroom lectures, or inclusion in paper tests/exams, hand-outs, or assignments that you create for the sole purpose of supporting your course syllabus.  This limited permission shall be in effect for as long as the textbook is adopted, but this permission shall automatically expire if the textbook is no longer adopted.  In such event any Wiley owned content must be removed. Please note that you may not photocopy, scan or reproduce any Wiley-owned content items included in the text or Instructor Support Materials for purposes of including them in course packs or other saleable works or products without further written permission.

Text was originally derived from Waterloo Copyright FAQ by University of Waterloo, licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.5 Canada Licence.

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