Q. SME Copyright FAQs
SMEs Copyright FAQs (revised 3/11/2017)
Remember to always review the terms and agreements for each website that you wish to cite. Many websites allow linking and don’t require permission, however some websites do require you to gain written permission or purchase copyright clearance before you can link or reference their information.
Q: Can I include a video in the syllabus?
A: Before searching the web for streaming video consider browsing the video collections within NCU Library first. Our databases contain thousands of full length videos and you are permitted to link/embed videos while remaining compliant with copyright. See our Videos FAQ for information on where to locate videos in the Library.
If the content you are seeking cannot be found in our Library video databases, then adhere to the following guidelines for videos found on the web. For YouTube videos, please see the proceeding FAQ on What if I locate a video on YouTube?. If the video is available on a web site that clearly shows ownership of copyright, or permission to distribute, then yes, you may LINK to the video in the syllabus. However, you may not EMBED the web video in the syllabus unless the website explicitly states that you have permission to do so. If the video is only available on a web site that does not clearly show any copyright ownership or distribution permissions then you may wish to consider an alternative copyright compliant source. You may also contact the Library for assistance on determining whether the hosting web site has permissions to show/distribute the video.
Q: What if I locate a video on YouTube? Do I have permission to link to it or embed it?
A: Content on YouTube is comprised of lawful as well as unlawful content that has not been flagged and removed yet. Simply because content is available does not mean that it is not copyrighted. Therefore, you should use common sense judgement and make a good faith effort to determine whether content has been lawfully posted.
You may first want to examine the license attributed to the YouTube video. Creators may mark their videos with a Creative Commons license, and in doing so, they are granting the entire YouTube community the right to use their work in most cases. More information on Creative Commons and YouTube can be found here:
You can reveal what type of license a YouTube video has by clicking the “SHOW MORE” link located below the video’s publication date:
If you want to search exclusively for Creative Commons licensed videos on YouTube you may use the following search engine and select YouTube:
If the video you wish to link to does not have a Creative Commons license you may default to the Fair Use doctrine which allows people other than the copyright owner to copy part or, in some circumstances, all of a copyrighted work, even where the copyright holder has not given permission. For more information on Fair Use and YouTube click here. Please note, while the Fair Use doctrine applies to both nonprofit and for profit educational institutions, copyright experts concur that greater scrutiny is required when applying it in for profit environments. For more information see Enghagen (2013) in Q: How can I find out more about copyright and its unique relationship with for profit educational institutions?
Lastly, given that a standard YouTube license restricts uses to individuals for “informational and personal use,” it is recommended that you link to YouTube rather than embedding videos into the course management system.
Q: Can I download and include an article in the syllabus if I have access to it through a personal association or organization membership?
A: No. If you are accessing an article through a personal organization or association membership then including this article would violate copyright laws because you are only paying for one person (yourself) to view that article, not all the students in the course. However, if you can find that same article freely available on a web site that does not require a log in or special password, AND if that web site clearly shows ownership of copyright, or permission to distribute the article, then yes, you may LINK to the article in the syllabus. Alternatively, if the article is available in the Library databases, then you may LINK to it in the syllabus. We always recommend checking our Library first to see if the content is available. You can always check to see what journals NCU Library has full-text access to using our Find a Resource tool. Our Finding Specific Articles FAQ explains how you can use this tool to find an article.
Q: Can I link to an article that is freely available on the web?
A: If the article is available on a web site that clearly shows ownership of copyright, or permission to distribute, then yes, you may LINK to the article in the syllabus. However, you may not download and EMBED the article file in the syllabus. If the article is only available on a web site that does not clearly show any copyright ownership or distribution permissions then you may wish to consider an alternative copyright compliant source. You may also contact the Library for assistance on determining whether or not the hosting web site has permissions to distribute the article.
Q: Can I scan pages from a print book chapter or an article and include them as a file in the syllabus?
A: No. You may LINK to an article/book on the web if it is available on a site that clearly shows ownership of copyright, or permission to distribute the article. You may also link to the article/book if it is in the Library databases, but you cannot scan the article or book chapter and include it as a file in the syllabus.
Q: What if I want to include a specific article that is not in the Library or available freely on the Internet?
A: We strongly recommend that you contact the Library for assistance in finding an alternative article. However, if this article is a seminal piece and there is no alternative, then please see Steps to Request Copyright Permissions, below. WE CANNOT GUARANTEE THAT WE WILL BE ABLE TO OBTAIN COPYRIGHT PERMISSIONS. Furthermore, the Library will not be responsible for any cost associated with obtaining copyright permission. Approval to purchase copyright permissions is at the discretion of your Curriculum Director. Please refer to the Library Request for Copyright Permissions policy for more details.
Q: Can I download and include an article in the syllabus if I am the author?
A: If you are not the copyright holder for the article then please contact the publisher and request permissions to use your article in an educational setting. Generally, the copyright for a published article belongs to the publisher, not the author. You may also try and locate that article in the library databases and you can LINK to that article in the syllabus. If you are sure that you own the copyright for your article then you may include it as a file in the syllabus.
Q: I am creating several syllabi and would like to use the same article in multiple courses. Can I do that?
A: If the article is freely available on a copyright compliant web site or in the Library databases, then yes you may LINK to it in several syllabi. If this is an article that required copyright purchase, then no, that article can only be used in one course. Copyright is purchased based on the number of courses and the number of students that will be using the article.
Q: Can I download and include an article accessed from Northcentral Library in the syllabus?
A: No. You can LINK to an article from the Library, but you cannot download and include it as a file. See the Persistent URL Guide for instructions on how to obtain the correct persistent link. You can always check to see what journals NCU Library has full-text access to using our Find a Resource tool. Our Finding Specific Articles FAQ explains how you can use this tool to find an article.
Q: Can I download and include an article that I found on ResearchGate?
A: ResearchGate is a social networking site for scientists and researchers to share papers, ask and answer questions, and find collaborators. You are more than welcome to link to a source you find on ResearchGate. However, due to potential legal concerns with the owners of copyrighted material posted to ResearchGate, the Library does NOT advise uploading PDFs or other documents from ResearchGate directly to the LMS or course room.
Q: Can I use content from Khan Academy in my course?
According to Khan Academy’s website, “You are welcome to link to the materials on our website and in general, use the website offerings at www.khanacademy.org, as long as there is not a charge specific to using the resource.” NOTE, however, that there are specific instructions for Attribution when linking to content from Khan Academy.
You must attribute the material back to Khan Academy, but not in any way that suggests that Khan Academy directly endorses you or your use of the materials. Please include a link to www.khanacademy.org and the verbiage "NOTE: All Khan Academy content is available for free at www.khanacademy.org". Where Khan Academy materials are incorporated into a service that requires login for the service, notification must be provided PRIOR to login that all Khan Academy materials are available for free at www.khanacademy.org.
For more information on how you can use Khan Academy’s content, including the option to embed video, please click here.
Q: Can I use TED Talks videos in my course?
TED Talks requires a formal licensing partnership from for profit universities to use their videos in any capacity. Unfortunately TED Talks would not grant this partnership to Northcentral University. Please do not include TED Talks from TED Talks YouTube channel or TED.com in your courses. However, PLEASE NOTE, some of the NCU Library's databases like Films on Demand include TED Talks videos within their collection. You are free to persistently link or embed any TED Talks video you discover within a Library video database. You can browse the collection of TED Talks videos available in Films on Demand by clicking here.
Q: I would like to use an article published in Harvard Business Review that I found in the Library databases. Can I do that?
A: Harvard Business Review has set up a very different copyright agreement than most other journals. They do not allow any use of their publications in a syllabus, even if it is accessible in a Library database, unless a permission for reproduction fee is paid. For this particular publication you CANNOT include a link to an article in a syllabus. Please contact the Library for assistance in looking for alternative articles, or contact the Library to inquire about requesting reproduction permissions.
Q: Can I include web links in the syllabus?
A: Yes, as long as those links do not lead to a password protected site or to a site that does not clearly state copyright compliance.
Q: Can I scan an image to be included in the syllabus?
A: No. Images fall under the same copyright laws as articles or books. You can LINK to an image on a copyright compliant web site or in the Library, but scanning an image and including it as a file would violate copyright laws. Alternatively, you may use a public domain image in your course. Public domain images may be reproduced, altered and distributed without permission. This is because their copyright expired (and was not renewed), or the author specifically released his/her images to the public domain. For additional information and a directory of websites, see our Public Domain Images page.
Q: Can I create my own image to be included in the syllabus?
A: Yes, if you are creating your own image from scratch, or with resources that are not protected by copyright, then you may include the image in the syllabus. You can also work with an Instructional Designer if you would like assistance in creating an image.
Q: How do I obtain copyright permission for a resource?
A: Please see Steps to Request Copyright Permissions, below. We will look into acquiring copyright permissions for the requested resource and will let you know if we were successful or not. WE CANNOT GUARANTEE THAT WE WILL BE ABLE TO OBTAIN COPYRIGHT PERMISSIONS. Furthermore, the Library will not be responsible for any cost associated with obtaining copyright permission. Approval to purchase copyright permissions is at the discretion of your Curriculum Director. Please refer to the Library Request for Copyright Permissions policy for more details. Keep in mind that obtaining copyright permissions can take some time, so please request permission as soon as possible.
Q: What alternatives do I have if the resource I want to use is not freely available on the web or in the Library databases, or I cannot gain copyright permissions to use it?
A: Please contact the Library and we will be happy to help you search for alternative sources. You also have the option of including citations of copyright protected materials in the Supplemental Resources section of the syllabus (meaning these resources CANNOT be required reading for the course). Do keep in mind that anything listed in the Supplemental Resources section CANNOT be requested through Interlibrary Loan, so the resources need to be reasonably accessible through other public or academic libraries.
Q: Do students who wish to include images, figures, and/or tables from another source in their dissertation need copyright permissions?
A: Yes. Students should obtain permissions for any images, figures, and/or tables appearing in another source. Dissertations are published by ProQuest and sold for commercial purposes. Personal and Fair Use in the case of the dissertation does not apply. For more information, see pg. 231, Section 8.04, of the APA Publication Manual, 6th edition.
Q: Can students download and print information appearing on the Northcentral University Website?
A: Yes. Information appearing on the Northcentral University website is copyright protected, all rights reserved. Students can save a local copy or print materials appearing on the site for personal or educational purposes only. Commercial use of materials appearing on the site is prohibited and requires written consent by the Office of the Provost at Northcentral University.
Q: How can I find out more about copyright and its relationship with academic institutions, especially for-profit institutions?
A: The following resources address copyright and how it generally affects academic institutions and your teaching.
American Association of University Professors. Resources on copyright, distance education, and intellectual property. Retrieved from http://www.aaup.org/issues/copyright-distance-ed-intellectual-property/resources-copyright-distance-education-and
Copyright Clearance Center. (2008). The campus guide to copyright compliance for academic institutions. Retrieved from http://www.copyright.com/Services/copyrightoncampus/
The following resources directly speak to copyright and how it affects for-profit academic institutions.
Carson, B. M. (2008). Legally speaking: Copyright and for-profit educational institutions. Against the Grain, 20(1).
Enghagen, L. K. (2013). Copyright and fair use: Nonprofit/for profit educational institution statutory comparison for the use of traditional copyright protected works. Retrieved from https://www.masters.edu/media/578456/Comparison.pdf
You may also refer to a compilation of Open Access Instructor Resources related to Copyright vetted and compiled by NCU librarians.
STEPS TO REQUEST COPYRIGHT PERMISSIONS:
- Locate and verify bibliographical information for resource.
- Verify that the resource is or is not available through the Library. Librarians are available for assistance.
- If resource IS AVAILABLE: Contact Instructional Designer (ID) to include this resource in the syllabus.
- If resource IS NOT AVAILABLE: Fill out the Library Copyright Request Form and email the completed form to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will look into obtaining copyright permissions for this article and let you know if we were successful or not. Please refer to the Library Copyright Services and Guidelines for more details.
- If Library OBTAINED COPYRIGHT PERMISSIONS: Requestor will provide Curriculum Director with copy of granted permissions for record keeping. Curriculum Director will maintain documentation of granted copyright use for future reference, as well as pay any annual recurring fees if applicable.
- If Library DID NOT OBTAIN COPYRIGHT PERMISSIONS: The Library will contact you with suggestions for alternative sources or Requestor can request approval to purchase from Curriculum Director.
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