Copyright and Moodle
- What material is subject to copyright restrictions?
- How can I make copyrighted material available to my students on Moodle?
What material is subject to copyright restrictions?
The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (CPDA) defines copyright as "a property right which subsists in the following descriptions of work-
- original literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works
- sound recordings, films, broadcasts or cable programmes, and
- the typographical arrangement of published editions."
The Act goes on: "The copying of the work is an act restricted by the copyright… This includes storing the work in any medium by electronic means." Consequently, copyright is an important consideration in making published material available to students via Moodle.
Any material for which you, or City University, are the copyright holder, may be used freely. Anything else is subject to copyright restrictions. Remember that copyright for articles which you yourself have written does not necessarily belong to you. The terms of publishing contracts often mean that authors assign rights to their publishers.
How can I make copyrighted material available to my students on Moodle?
There is a general allowance in the CPDA whereby the use of copyrighted material is defensible if it is for the purposes of "criticism and review". If this is the case, a minimum amount of material must be used and full acknowledgement of the source must be given.
1. Books, journals and other printed material
You cannot scan from books, journals or other printed material without the permission of publishers. This includes diagrams and other illustrations.
Check the catalogue in case the Library already has online access via its journal subscription or e-books collections
If not, single book chapters and journal articles may usually be digitised by library staff under the terms and conditions of the licence which the university holds with the Copyright Licensing Agency. See the information on our digital course readings service for more information about this.
2. Articles from online journals
Users of online journals are subject to the terms of licences which are negotiated between suppliers and subscribers. Usually articles may be downloaded only for private study or research and never for commercial purposes
You may make articles from Library online journal subscriptions available to students by adding links to Moodle. It is not permissible to upload personal copies of articles, whether from City University subscriptions, other institutions or obtained commercially
To make journal articles available via Moodle, follow these instructions:
- Check the Library catalogue to see if there is an online subscription to the journal in question: key the journal title into the search window
- For online journals, the words [electronic resource] should appear after the title. Be sure to check that the year you require is covered by the subscription
- Click the link on the journal title so that only this single title is displayed on the screen
- Copy the URL which appears as the "address" at the top of your browser screen. (This URL should look something like this: http://encore.city.ac.uk/iii/encore/search/C|SBritish+journal+of+social+psychology|Orightresult|U1?lang=eng&suite=pearl ) Paste this URL into Moodle
- Students then need to click on the date towards the right-hand side of the page, log in and browse to the article in question
- If the journal title concerned is not listed on the catalogue, the Library may be able to obtain a copy of the article you want under the terms of the University's scanning licence. See the information on our digital course readings service for more information.
3. Material from web sites
Material on web sites, although apparently "freely available", is subject to copyright restrictions too. If you want to use web-based material, check if there is information on the site in question which details what is permissible in terms of linking to and reproducing material from that site. This information can usually be found in the "terms and conditions" or "copyright" pages or "about us" section of the site.
As a general rule…
- Web pages should not be copied and uploaded to Moodle, nor should text, images or any other material be copied and pasted without the permission of the web site owner. However it is usually acceptable to provide links for students so that they can access web-based material individually for themselves.
- Avoid "deep linking" and to link to home pages wherever possible. Deep links are less stable and URLs may change.
- Make it clear to students that internet-based material which is referred or linked to within their online course is for their own personal use only and not for distribution, and point out to them any other conditions imposed on you by the website owner.
- Wherever possible, clearly acknowledge the source (listing URL and copyright holders) of any information you use.
4. Audio-visual material and images
When choosing audio-visual material, images and PowerPoint multimedia to use in your teaching, make sure that what you are proposing to do is permitted by the rights holder.
TV and radio broadcasts
The University holds a licence with the Educational Research Agency (ERA) which makes some allowances for use of TV and radio broadcasts. This licence permits staff at educational establishments to record, for non-commercial educational purposes, broadcast output of ERA Members - note that many digital-only broadcasters are excluded from this list. Licensed recordings can be retained, stored and copied (in both analogue and digital formats) and then relayed within the establishment. They may be added to Moodle with the proviso that students may not access them outside the UK.
See the ERA's "Frequently Asked Questions" page for further information.
Where TV or radio broadcast material is not covered by the ERA Licence in the way explained above, you may show it to a class of students within City University premises for non-commercial educational purposes and providing you acknowledge the origin of the broadcast. However, in order to make it available in digital form on a network you must obtain permission from the rights holders.
Many YouTube clips are placed on the site illegally, without the permission of copyright holders. You should avoid downloading, streaming or even embedding material from YouTube unless you are sure that you have permission to do so. If YouTube clips have been added to the site by someone other than the organisation or individual with whom it originated it's likely to have been put there illegally.
The safest way to make third party material on other websites available to students is to give them a link (by e-mail or by adding to the link to Moodle): students can then click on the link and view the material in question for themselves.
Some web resources provide access to free online images with the stipulation that they are used for educational, non-commercial purposes. There is a list of some of these on our Copyright and Images page.
You may find it useful to print out this flowchart. Reading top to bottom, it lists the checks which should be made before material is shared electronically with students, by adding it to Moodle, via e-mail or by any other means.
For further clarification please contact Peter Williams, Library Services, Telephone: +44 (0)20 7040 5650 .