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Faculty Resources: Digital Sharing

Educational Multimedia Projects

A Congressional subcommittee on courts and intellectual property on the Committee of the Judiciary House of Representatives 104th Congress, 2nd session initially met in 1996 and a non legislative report was adopted report was adopted that relates to Fair Use Guidelines and Educational Multimedia. A final report from the Conference on Fair Use (CONFU) was adopted in 1998.

The purpose of the Fair Use Guidelines for Educational Multimedia, which were drafted by copyright owners and users after considerable discussion and negotiation, is to clarify the application of fair use of copyrighted works as teaching methods are adapted to new learning environments. The Guidelines apply to the fair use of portions of lawfully acquired copyrighted works in educational multimedia projects which are created by educators as part of a systematic learning activity at nonprofit educational institutions. (Source: https://www.uspto.gov/sites/default/files/documents/confurep_0.pdf)

Educational multimedia projects incorporate various copyrighted media formats into student- or educator- created original material. These formats include:

  • Music
  • Motion Media
  • Graphics
  • Illustrations
  • Digital Software

The subcommittee provided guidelines for limitations of time, portion, copying and distribution. Portion limitations refer to the amount of a copyrighted work that can be used in an educational multimedia project.

Portion Limitations

Format Portion
Motion Media 10% or 3 minutes - whichever is less
Text Material 10% or 1,000 words - whichever is less
Music, Lyrics, and Music Videos Up to 10% but no more than 30 seconds
Illustrations & Photographs Under these guidelines, no more than 5 images by an article or photographer can be used; if the images are part of a collective work, no more than 10% of the work or 15 images - whichever is less

 

"Educators and students may not share their personally created multimedia projects over electronic networks except as part of curriculum on a educationally-based site over a secure network." (Source: http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED402920.pdf)

Articles Shared Via BlackBoard

Posting an item to Blackboard does not exempt an instructor from copyright regulations, however, it does allow educators to, so-to-speak, stretch the provisions of fair use. The Blackboard system does this by limiting access to posted materials to registered members of a course, and by limiting the availability of those materials to the active duration of that course.  

With the understanding that access to course materials on Blackboard is limited by registration, the following table provides guidelines as to how materials on BlackBoard should be used:

How Materials on Blackboard Should Be Used

Item being shared/posted Allowed/Recommended Not Allowed/Recommended
Article from a library database Direct linking to the article within the database using the database permalink Copying and pasting the article directly into a Blackboard content area
Scanned article from a journal, trade publication, or magazine 10% of the total volume or a single article, whichever is less -- allowed for only one consecutive semester More than the allotted percents or repeated use over multiple consecutive semesters
Scanned chapter from a book 10% of the total work or a single chapter, whichever is less -- allowed for only one consecutive semester More than the allotted percents or repeated use over multiple consecutive semesters
Web site containing copyrighted material Direct linking to the website Copying and pasting website material directly into a Blackboard content area
Copyrighted web image Must be educational in nature; displayed for one semester Repeated use over multiple consecutive semesters
Scanned copyrighted image Must be educational in nature; displayed for one semester Repeated use over multiple consecutive semesters
Audio files 10% of the total work or a single chapter, whichever is less -- allowed for only one consecutive semester Repeated use over multiple consecutive semesters
Video files 10% of the total work or a single chapter, whichever is less -- allowed for only one consecutive semester Repeated use over multiple consecutive semesters