The Internet has opened up the traditional classroom to the world at large. As with any new frontier there are new questions and concerns, and the online classroom is no exception. Does the password-protected environment of Desire2Learn or MyWashburn mean that Web copyright issues are of no importance? Can Fair Use as it is understood in a traditional classroom still apply?
The information available here is to help Washburn University faculty and staff understand their rights when placing original work within an online course and to guide them in properly using the copyrighted works of others.
Online classrooms are defined by being a place for mediated learning in a closed (i.e. password protected) environment. Unlike the Web, which is public for all to use, closed environments restrict access of materials to those who have registered for a course.
The TEACH Act (2002) and the Fair Use provisions of the copyright law offer a high degree of flexibility to faculty members who wish to use copyrighted work within their online classroom. According to the TEACH Act, faculty members can use the following without seeking permission from the copyright holder:
To meet the TEACH Act requirements, the online course must be restricted to those in the class, the classroom must be moderated by an instructor, and "reasonable" technological measures must be taken to prevent illegal distribution of the materials. Instructors are encouraged to work with ITS Instructional Media to make sure course materials meet this requirement. Here are some suggestions from Online Education Support to make any online course a "copyright friendly" environment:
In this quiz you will be asked a series of 5 True or False questions.
Copyright Primer for Online Classes (Revised and Updated for the TEACH Act)