Emergency Remote Teaching, Copyright, and Fair Use

As City Tech shifts to remote learning for all coursework in the wake of the COVID19 pandemic, some faculty may have questions about how copyright and fair use provisions apply in virtual learning environments.

Copyright scholars have offered guidance about copyright considerations for emergency remote teaching and note, “while legal obligations do not automatically dissolve in the face of a public health crisis, U.S. copyright law is, thankfully, well equipped to provide the flexibility necessary for the vast majority of remote learning needed at this time.”

Some best practices to keep in mind:

  • Consider all 4 factors of fair use when evaluating course materials.
  • Keep educational technology platforms and distribution contexts in mind when sharing copyrighted materials.
  • Link out to digital sources instead of using PDFs or copying materials.
  • Password protection isn’t a blanket solution; even if your course materials aren’t “public” you can still infringe on copyright.
  • Use Open Educational Resources (freely available materials) in your discipline and materials that the library already licenses.

Learn More about Copyright and Fair Use

Fair Use and Copyright Guide

Copyright and Fair Use Presentation

Fair Use in the Context of COVID19

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