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Copyright Guide

This guide provides resources for students, researchers, staff, and faculty on copyright law, policies, and guidelines at Loma Linda University.

Using Copyrighted Works Covered by the AACL

Get a legal copy or a link to a legal copy of the work you want to include in your course.  Legal copies can come from an institutionally subscribed or licensed resource, interlibrary loan, the copyright owner, purchased copy, public domain, or Creative Commons license  (a copy emailed from a friend at another institution is not a legal copy).

For print original copies, include this copyright notice on the copy:  This material may be protected by copyright law (Title 17 U.S. Code)

If you use the content for more than 1 term, check the AACL every term to verify inclusion.

Using Copyrighted Works Not Covered by the AACL

Based on:

“Using Course Management Systems: Guidelines for Best Practices and Copyright Compliance”   Copyright Clearance Center, White Paper, c2011.

If a work is NOT covered by the AACL, then do a fair use analysis to determine if you can use the work without permission or to determine if you need permission.  Follow these best practices:

  • LINK!  Whenever possible use licensed library resources and link to the content.  Linking is preferable to scanning and posting digital copies of the full text of an article, a book chapter, or an image
  • If you must post full text, limit to small excerpts (single article or chapter)
  • Consider context—providing access to multiple works in Canvas could be considered a “digital course pack”.  Course packs need permission if not allowed by either the AACL or the Library's license 
  • Check with the library to see if the Library's license for the resource allows the use you want.  Contact: Shirley Rais, MLS, Serials & Electronic Resources Lilbrarian ( OR x44583)
  • Don’t provide so much content in Canvas that the material sends up being a substitute for purchasing the materials (amount and substance of the use)
  • If you use content for more than one term, get permission for each subsequent term
  • If scanning a print copy to use online, make sure you have a legal original copy (you did not violate copyright when you obtained the copy)
  • When the class is over, remove the copyrighted materials from the course
  • Be sure posted copies carry a complete citation, proper attribution  and copyright notices
  • Do not use content created and marketed specifically for online courses
  • Do not use workbooks, lab manuals, etc.  These are meant to be purchased and “consumed” by students.

Another useful resource is "Using Copyrighted Works in Your Teaching—FAQ:  Questions Faculty and Teaching Assistants Need to Ask Themselves Frequently, Part II: Uses in the Online Classroom/Course Management Systems"  by Peggy Hoon, JD (Washington DC: Association of Research Libraries, 2007) © 2007 Peggy Hoon
This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 license


Harvard Business Review - Cannot use without permission

HBR is available through an EBSCOhost database to which the library subscribes,  but it has it’s own restrictions regarding use:  

“Content in HBR may NOT be used as assigned course material nor as corporate learning or training materials.  Academic and business departments may not use this content in electronic reserves, electronic course packs, persistent linking from syllabi or by any other means of incorporating the content into course resources.   You cannot host this content on learning management systems (for example, Canvas or Moodle) or use persistent linking  or other means to incorporate the content into learning  management systems.  Harvard Business Publishing will be pleased to grant permission to make this content available  through such means.

Checklist for using a work in an online course

Will linking to it suffice?

Where did you get the work?  Is it a “legal” copy? If not, get a legal copy.

What do you want to do with it?

Is the use you want covered by the AACL?  If yes, go ahead and use.

If the use isn’t covered by the AACL:  

  • Does the institution have a license for the use you want?
  • Is it in the public domain?
  • Is there a Creative Commons license?
  • Do you own the copyright?
  • If not covered by the any of the above does Fair Use apply?

If none of the above apply, secure permission.

Will you need to use it again in another term? Start over.