University Library at St. Cloud State University

Copyright Information for Faculty

Introduction to terms
Copyright refers to the legal right of the creator to print, publish, or perform their work.
Copyright registration is advisable but not required. Your original work is automatically copyrighted when it is set in a fixed form. 
Creative Commons License, also called CC, is selected by authors who wish to waive certain rights. These creations are often OER (open educational resources).
Fair use refers to an exception to U.S. copyright law that allows for the limited use of another's work for educational, research or non-profit purposes without seeking permission from the copyright owner.
Intellectual property refers to original work in a fixed form. 
Public domain refers to works with expired copyright or no copyright.
The TEACH Act allows further exemptions for online education.

A general overview of these terms is available in the PDF, Copyright for Instructors

A more detailed overview for instructors is the Educators Guide from Copyright Alliance.  A glossary is on page 6.

The U.S. Copyright Office explains the basics of copyright in Circular 1.

Compliance with copyright laws is the responsibility of the user.
Seeking permission
Obtaining Permission: FAQ on seeking permission to use copyrighted material. (MnSCU)
Copyright permissions form letter template.
What can I use in my online course?
If you have already found content you would like to use, these flow charts help determine legality.


What images can I use in online courses?

What video clips can I insert into online courses?  Note also that if the library subscribes to the video, you may post a link to the video in your course or even on your website.  Access to library videos is restricted to the SCSU community.

Can I add captioning or create transcripts for videos?

What can I use in my e-textbook?

To find resources, see the box:
Legal sources of online content
Tools and checklists

Digital copyright slider (Helps you determine if an older work is still covered by copyright)

Fair Use Checklist  (MnSCU)

Measuring Fairuse: The Four Factors (Stanford)

Copyright and Fair Use Overview (Standford's more detailed overview)

Copyright flow chart  (Detailed! Reposted from

Copyright and Intellectual Property Tools and Forms  (MnSCU)
Copyright policies/procedures at SCSU
Library course reserve information for faculty
                         Library traditional course reserve request form  (list)
                         PDF of print periodical article request form  (individual articles)

Other, Non-Library copyright policies:

Bookstore course packets

Showing movies in Atwood

P2P (peer to peer) file sharing copyright infringement notice

MnSCU overview for your ownership rights to the work you create
Sharing your work openly
You may decide to share your work in the institutional repository.  Previously published work can sometimes be reposted with copyright transfer from the original publisher. 

Or you may share your multimedia work in an OER repository such as OER Commons or Merlot.  You select the type of license you want to apply to the work.
Copyright Information for Faculty
copyright definition image
Legal sources of online content
Check the library's resources first, these are prepaid and licensed for your use!

LibSearch for a variety of materials in a single search box

e-books available through the library

Streaming videos available through the library: Alexander Street Press, Films on Demand and Kanopy "Media Education Foundation Collection" and Vanderbilt Television News Archive.

Journal articles in library databases

Electronic, print and video course reserves

Outside of the library:
Creative Commons search (portal to access works under CC license)
OER Commons (shared teaching and learning materials)
OpenDOAR (open access repository search)
Alternative legal sources of online content (not all are free)
Videos and tutorials
Copyright on Campus c2011, 6 minutes
"Jane the Librarian" of Copyright Clearance Center
explains several sections of U.S. copyright law,
especially fair use, and the harm of violating copyright law. 

Copyright Lesson c2013, 6 minutes
Christie Fierro explains what type of images can be used and how.

Intellectual Property Rights and Copyright c2008, 2 minutes
Defines intellectual property and P2P (peer to peer) file sharing.

Protected Content: Copyright and Fair Use c2011.  4 minutes
Types of copyrighted work; overview of copyright law.

Youtube: Can I show YouTube videos in my class? c2012. 3 minutes

Copyright: The Crash Course c2007, slides
Paul Royster, Univ. of Nebraska

Copyright: Know the Basics  c2009, slides
Molly Kleinman, Univ. of Michigan Library, an
updated presentation from Molly Keener. 
Submit a copyright question
St. Cloud State faculty/staff and students may submit a copyright question for library faculty to review and respond.
Contact info. for course reserves
For questions regarding electronic reserves or course reserves, contact
Subject Specialist
Picture: Tom Steman

Tom Steman
Professor, University Archivist
MC 314C
(320) 308-4753

Powered by SubjectsPlus

Education For Life.
St. Cloud State University is an affirmative action/equal opportunity educator and employer.
St. Cloud State University is a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system.
© 2013 St. Cloud State University