University of Oregon

Instructional Use of Copyrighted Media: Digitization and Streaming

The Libraries adhere to US copyright law (title 17 of the US Code).  Section 107 of the copyright law, the Fair Use Doctrine, provides the guiding principle behind the Libraries' course reserve and instructional media services. Section 108 deals with reproduction by libraries and archives.  For further information, see
Section 110(2) of the Copyright Act provides specific protection for some streaming and other uses, but it does not cover the entire variety of potential applications in instruction. This is a rapidly evolving area of technology and law. Use of copyrighted media in the curriculum requires careful thought and planning to balance the risk of copyright litigation with the pedagogical value of the media content.
Guidance from the UO General Counsel governs local practice for digitization, hosting, and streaming of media (primarily video) content for instructional use. 
UO instructors may use digitized, hosted, and streamed copyrighted media in their instruction under the following conditions:
1. Prior written permission of the copyright holder or a public performance license
2. When one of the following Fair Use exemptions applies:
a. Displays and Performances in Face-to-Face Teaching (Section 110(1)). Under this exception, educators may make performances and displays of all types of works in a classroom or similar place at most educational institutions. It allows instructors and students to recite poetry, read plays, show videos, play music, project slides, and engage in many other performances and displays of protected works in the classroom setting. This statute is actually comparatively simple and broad, but keep in mind that it permits only displays and performances in the classroom—not the making of copies or the posting of digital works on servers. 
b. Displays and Performances in Distance Education (Section 110(2)). When materials are displayed or performed to students at remote locations, or for that matter "transmitted" to students at any location, the rules change. This statute is known as "the TEACH Act" and was revised in 2002 to address issues of online education. The new law allows posting of materials to servers, but only subject to a long list of conditions. Many colleges and universities are struggling with this statute, and many rely instead on fair use or permissions. 
Source: Columbia University,
Compliance with the Face-To-Face and TEACH Act exemptions require limiting access to students currently enrolled in the class. The content may not be accessible by non-enrolled individuals, and may not be made available beyond the time when it is needed for that class. The UO’s main streaming server does not provide an adequate level of access control, so we do not host copyrighted video on that server. 
At present, Canvas is the only system that provides the level of access control needed to meet this requirement.  Although Canvas can host short video clips, it is not suitable for hosting lengthy segments, large media collections, or full-length films.
We recognize the pedagogical importance of video in the university curriculum, and are actively exploring systems to support authenticated access under the conditions required for Fair Use. In the meantime, we recommend the following options for making course-related copyrighted media available to students:
1. Talk to your subject librarian to see if the publisher or a database vendor offers a streaming license
2. Put DVD copies on reserve in the library
3. Have students purchase their own DVD copies, or access online via Netflix , Hulu, iTunes, etc. 
4. Compile selected excerpts for use during class &/or posting to Canvas.
To explore these options, visit CMET Consulting in Room 19, Knight Library. Consulting staff will assist, and can provide referrals to other library and campus staff as needed. 
University of Oregon Libraries
1501 Kincaid Street Eugene, OR
T: (541) 346-3053
F: (541) 346-3485
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