Old Dominion University Libraries

Copyright and Copywrong

A seminar presented by Old Dominion University Libraries, University Counsel, and Center for Learning Technologies -- April 2010


“Fair Use” provisions of Copyright Law and the Teach Act allow faculty to make reading materials available to students in a classroom or via Blackboard -- always check your intended use against the fair use factors. Faculty are responsible for copyright compliance and can use the following information as a guideline.  If in doubt, you should probably seek permission.

  • Copyright permission is not needed if:
  1. If you are making direct links to articles, images, audio, or video available electronically through the Library’s databases.

Many of the Library’s databases offer fulltext materials (including images, audio, video) that you can simply link to, without scanning. 

Ask a librarian about finding materials online through the Library’s Website.

Direct Links:
For offcampus access, you’ll need to precede the article url with: 

For more information, see Linking to Full Text Articles

2. If you are using “public domain” materials (sample exams, lecture notes, government publications, course notes, personal photographs, or other unpublished writings of the faculty member posting materials). 

  • Copyright permission should be obtained for the following, regardless of whether it is in the classroom or on Blackboard:
    • multiple articles or chapters copied from one book or journal
      (rule of thumb: do not use more than 10% of a book or journal issue)
    • articles or chapters used for more than one simultaneous semester
    • consumable works (standardized tests, exercises, workbooks or other commercially available materials)
    • student work
    • any material clearly indicating that permission is required
      (A signed statement by copyright holder granting permission to use should be retained by faculty member.)
  • Material must be accessible only by students in the class -- placing materials on Blackboard will ensure this.
  • A copyright statement should be included on all materials photocopied for students -- NOTICE: This material may be protected by copyright law (Title 17 US Code) -- and on all Blackboard sites that include copyrighted materials:

The materials on this course Web site are only for the use of students enrolled in this course for purposes associated with this course and may not be retained or further disseminated.