Learning Technology

Can I upload materials to Moodle without breaching copyright?

June 8th, 2016 at 09:06

If the material you’re uploading was written by you, or you have permission from the copyright holder, then you can freely upload material to Moodle or use it in lectures and presentations.  With the usual disclaimer about us not being lawyers, there are some common sense approaches to take when considering copyright in preparing materials for lectures, presentations and Moodle.

The University has blanket licences which cover a number of sources – those from the Copyright Licensing Agency, Newspaper Licensing Agency and Educational Recording Agency cover use of text-based works, newspapers and television/radio broadcasts.  Under the ERA+ licence, Box of Broadcasts (BoB) can be used to record and access television and radio programmes – but these can only be used within the UK.

Scans can be made of extracts and images from books and journals for delivery to students on a specific course. These must be delivered securely e.g., by using Moodle, not open web-pages. Also, scanning must only be carried out by the library scanning service, or ‘designated scanners’ in certain schools: our Library runs a scanning service to support this.  Each module can have up to one chapter of a book, one article from  a journal issue, one paper from a set of conference proceedings and so on.

There are certain fair-dealing exceptions to copyright law, and one of them (Section 32 CDPA) is the exception for the purpose of illustration of a teaching point. The key points here are that it must be the person doing the teaching who does the copying, even digitally, it must be for a non-commercial purpose and the source must be acknowledged. The amount copied and the way it is delivered should respect the rights of the copyright-holder and be considered fair-dealing (=reasonable).

Use of scans/uploads of copyright works should be accompanied by a comprehensive categorised and annotated reading list, explaining carefully the relative importance of the reading materials, and the scans/uploads should not replace the need for a textbook if one exists.

Further resources

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