Copyright LogoThe Office of Distance Learning and Instructional Technology, in conjunction with the Center for Learning Enhancement, Assessment, and Redesign (CLEAR), provides information on copyright issues such as fair use in the online environment.

Know what you CAN DO when using others' work in your online teaching.

Keep it SIMPLE — link whenever possible

In most cases, you can eliminate the need for permission or fees by simply providing a link to a work instead of making copies of it.

What about when linking won't do?

You still have options!

Below are several common situations in which you're free to share works with students in your face-to-face or online classroom without permission or fees.

Fair Use

When the circumstances might reasonably be judged as fair use or protected under the Teach Act rules, you can use copyrighted works in your teaching without obtaining permission.

Government Policies: United States Copyright Office: Fair Use

Creative Commons

Because creators routinely offer their works directly to others on the web, Creative Commons devised tools to provide standardized methods of granting copyright permissions to their creative work.

Uses Permitted by License

Our library has licenses that allow you to share works with your students in your face-to-face or online classroom.

Public Domain

Works in the public domain aren't protected by copyright, so you can use them freely.

Teach Act

Section 110(1) of the Copyright Law of the US allows for teaching performances and displays of protected works in a face-to-face classroom setting.


Additional Sources for Copyright Information