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Copyright: myClass (Blackboard)

Transitioning to Remote Course Delivery

IMPORTANT : Faculty transitioning to online/remote course delivery are reminded to be aware of the copyright compliance guidelines at UFV. Changing formats from print/analog to digital is a copying practice with specific intellectual property laws to consider. But generally, if you could do something in a physical classroom, you can also do it in a virtual classroom. This Guide is intended to help answer your copyright questions, and we are here to support you.

Please do not hesitate to email for further assistance:

Publisher Responses to COVID-19 Challenges

Quite a number of major academic publishers are providing free or vastly expanded access to their content to assist education institutions, including access to electronic textbooks and digital platforms from publishers like MacMillian, McGraw-Hill, Cengage, and others.

Two separate initiative are documenting details:

The Basics

UFV's learning management system is Blackboard Learn:

Uploading content to Blackboard is copying. Please refer to the Copying Guidelines to assess:

It is generally recommended to link to content if possible. Embed codes are considered linking.

If in doubt, link it out

Communicating Lessons in UFV Online

Instructors can communicate their lessons, such as a classroom session or a document prepared as a lesson, to post in UFV Online.  Under Copyright Law, the content must be provided in the form of a lesson, must be password-protected and only available to students in the course, and must be destroyed by the University and the students within 30 days after the final course evaluations.

An instructor does not need to destroy their lesson posted in UFV Online within 30 days after the final course evaluations IF the material used in the lesson follows the Fair Dealing Requirements and Copying Guidelines.  If the material used in the lesson goes beyond these rules and guidelines, then we must destroy the lesson after the course. Please notify UFV Copyright if your UFV Online lesson must be destroyed.

Using Different Kinds of Content

For any Internet content (text, videos, audio, graphics, or anything else found online), upload or embed content only if the following conditions are met:

  • There is no clearly visible copyright notice posted that specifically prohibits copying for educational use.  Standard copyright notices (i.e. the copyright symbol  ©) on webpages do not restrict your ability to use content under this exception.
  • The content is legitimately posted (you have no reason to believe that it is online without the consent of the copyright owner).
  • There is no password protection or other restricted access to the content.
  • You cite the source (URL and the author/creator, if available).

To avoid copyright infringement, the best practice is to link to the content rather than copying.  If in doubt, link it out.

If you are required to seek permission to use the content, please keep a copy of any permissions you receive.

An individual image is itself a copyrighted work. Fair dealing and other provisions can always be considered, but first ask yourself if the image an integral part of the learning objectives? Or is it simply decoration? If only the latter, it would be better to use something of pedagogical value instead.

One can also use openly-licensed images. See the following guides for more information:

The Library Collection has extensive holdings of digital content including ebooks, journal articles, and streaming videos:

When using library collection content, you will have to ensure that the database license allows copying for a particular use: whether you want to make class handouts, compile readings in a coursepack, or upload an electronic file to Blackboard.

There are numerous library databases and numerous licenses, but is generally simple to check specific terms of use.

Quick Guide:


How to Find the License Terms, Step by step:

Step 1. Look up the journal publication:

Step 2. Determine the database provider by the publication year of the article. Some journal articles are available in more than one database:

Step 3. Look up the database:

Step 4. Consult the Permitted Uses:

Example of Permitted Uses page:

The same content may have different license conditions depending on the database provider, so make sure to use the source with license terms that cover your intended use. Except in rare cases, it is always permissible to link to the content even if other copying purposes are not allowed. See Creating Persistent Links to Articles for DIY instructions.

The fair dealing exceptions of the Copyright Act allow you to scan “short excerpts” of content, which you can then place in an LMS system like UFV Online.  A “short excerpt” includes: up to 10% of a work, 1 chapter from a book, 1 article from a periodical, 1 artistic work, 1 poem, or 1 entry from a reference work like an encyclopedia.  If 1 chapter of a book is more than 10% of the book, the 1 chapter may be copied. You must cite your source.

See the Fair Dealing Requirements for more information.

As with text, you can copy “short excerpts” of video and audio content under the fair dealing exceptions of the Copyright Act.  A “short excerpt” is defined as up to 10% of a video or audio recording.  The recording must be a legally obtained copy and you must cite your source.  To stream an entire video, you will need to purchase a streaming license.  For assistance, contact the Copyright Librarian.

It is illegal to break a technical protection measure (TPM or "digital lock").  However it is legal to record a short excerpt of a legally obtained video using a handheld device or screen capture software, and to upload this short excerpt into your course.  For assistance, contact Educational Technology Services.

Consider Open Education Resources and Open Access as course content. Open licenses afford a great degree of flexibility:

You can (obviously) upload documents for which you own the full copyright. Examples include course reading lists, syllabi, and assignment outlines. For works that you have published, you need to be certain you did not assign your copyright to a publisher.

Contact the Copyright Librarian if you are unclear about the copyright status of a published work.

Instructor Copyright Guidelines

Faculty and/or their staff who post content on UFV Online must ensure that copies of copyright-protected works are posted in accordance with the Fair Dealing Policy or that the posting of the copies does not infringe copyright for other reasons.

You must be able to identify the reason that you are entitled to post each work or extract. Reasons include:

  1. You are the copyright holder
  2. Permission has been obtained from the copyright holder - Keep records of all permissions obtained.
  3. UFV license or agreement to use the content in an learning management system.
  4. Fair Dealing or other exemption under the Copyright Act
  5. Public Domain content - Note that availability on the Internet does not necessarily mean that content is in the public domain.
  • For certain content posted to UFV Online (e.g. classroom presentations containing extracts from a number of works) multiple reasons may apply.

Faculty/staff who post content prepared by a student on UFV Online should confirm that this content does not include copies of copyright-protected works that infringe copyright.

Guidance for Students

Students are also obligated to respect the UFV's Copyright Compliance Policy and the terms of UFV licenses when using UFV Online, and they should ensure that they do not post works that infringe copyright.

For more information, students should also consult the Copyright for Students section of this guide.


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