It is important to consider copyright when making any third-party material available to your students. You need to know what you can use and how you can use it. Although this is not always straightforward, our guidance is designed to help you to develop quality teaching materials without adding to your workload.
Copyright provides some useful exceptions that allow you to copy and use work without having to worry about infringement. In addition, the University also holds a number of licences that allow you to copy material for your teaching.
The Library Digitisation Service is available to teaching staff who would like to have materials (such as book chapters or journal articles) scanned into a digital format for supplementary use in teaching. The requests can be made via the Online Reading List.
There should be no content displayed on Blackboard or Reading Lists Online that does not comply with our CLA HE Licence.
For more information on what can be included, and the limits to copying, please read our guide to the digitisation process.
Benefits of Digitisation
If you have any questions you can contact the Library via e-mail at: email@example.com.
We are aware that colleagues may want to upload PDF's of material from our current subscribed resources to Blackboard to improve students access to the resource. The standard route to request a scan is now through Reading Lists Online - the material will then be made available via your online reading list.
Please remember not to scan and upload items yourself as you may be breaching copyright restrictions. This can be costly and disreputable to the University.
Films and Clips
Provided the purpose is for illustration for instruction and the copying is fair you can upload clips to Blackboard. However, the use must not be commercial and must be sufficiently acknowledged.
You must also consider who has access to Blackboard, and it may be necessary to restrict access to only lthose learners who are enrolled on that specific module.
You will need to ensure that all permissions have been granted to upload an image to Blackboard. This includes images contained within a PowerPoint presentation. It may be possible to consider that the use of images would fall under the fair dealing exceptions of illustration for instruction, but it must be considered fair and that is does not negatively impact on the market for the original material.
If you are unsure about the copyright of an image, you can use sites such as TinEye and perform an image verification search.
Additionally you can check the further information section to find sources of free images that you can use in your work.
You may be able to use short extracts of music in teaching if it is for the purposes of illustration for instruction or criticism and review. The amount copied must be considered fair and have no impact commercially on the rights holder.
Always be very wary of using commercial music in teaching materials, especially if published on Blackboard or the internet. You would need to get permission from the composer, the music publisher and the record company.
Most text-based material used in your teaching is likely to be subject to copyright and this affects photocopying or downloading of that material.
The University has a Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) Higher Education Licence that covers the photocopying and scanning of most UK publications, and some US and international publishers.
You should only make copies from publications that are owned or subscribed to by Staffordshire University, or from 'copyright fee paid' copies obtained by the Digitisation Team from The British Library or other official sources.
For more information please refer to the CLA Higher Education Licence User Guidelines and the Role Specfic Guidance for Academic Staff.
There are also exceptions within the law that can allow you to use text in your teaching materials.
Just because an image is freely searchable online, and you are able to copy or download it, it does not automatically mean it is free to use. A rule of thumb is to assume that all images are under copyright and you will need to seek permission to use them.
In most cases the photographer owns the copyright to the image and you must ask permission to use the image and fully acknowledge your source.
The use must be non-commercial and sufficiently acknowledged. Live streaming or playing directly from a DVD is fine, however storing the clip for future viewing (which includes recording a lecture) is definitely not. This is classed as a 'broadcast' and a breach of Performers' Rights. You must seek permission to record and re-use the material.
YouTube is a valuable resources but you should take particular care when using a YouTube Video. Many videos are uploaded illegally without the rights holder’s permission. Additionally many video's breach copyright in their content. Best practice is to only use videos from official channels and to check all permissions have been obtained.
The use of music is very restrictive unless used in specific circumstances. Commercial music is an area where copyright is upheld very strictly, and you should avoid using it unless it’s essential. You may be able to play music in a standalone lecture for instructional purposes, but you would need to gain permission from the rights holders if you wanted to add it to Blackboard. Getting permission to use commercial music will be expensive.