Copyright: Copyright and D2L

A Libguide to inform faculty about copyright

Course Management Systems

Instructors may ordinarily use materials in distance education under one of the following circumstances:

•Your materials are in the public domain and not protected under copyright, or
•You have permission from the copyright owner, or
•Your use is within fair use, or
•Your use is within the requirements of the TEACH Act.

What is the Teach Act?

“Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization Act” provides exceptions for use of copyrighted materials in distance education.

Since teachers have more privileges in face-to-face situations for copyrighted materials than teachers in online instruction, the Teach Act attempts to bring privileges of face-to-face teaching situations to the online instruction environment. Online educators can transmit certain copyrighted works without permission from the copyright holder, under certain conditions.

  Teach Act protects faculty and universities from liability for copyright infringement in online classes.  However, instructors who commit blatant copyright infringement can remain liable under the Teach Act.

Teach Act Requirements

Institutions and Instructors wishing to take advantage of TEACH Act for using copyrighted materials must reasonably:

     •limit access to copyrighted works to students currently enrolled;

     •limit access only for the time needed to complete the class session;

     •inform instructors, students, and staff of copyright laws and policies;

     •prevent further copying or redistribution of copyrighted works;

     •not interfere with copy protection mechanisms.


Copying and redistributing Web accessible content is a characteristic of the Web and not easily prevented. To prevent further copying or redistribution of materials a "reasonable" solution for the instructor in D2L is to provide a warning in the description of the content that notifies students that copying and redistributing these materials is a breach of copyright law.

                                           COPYRIGHT NOTICE:

          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.

Teach Act Compliance Protections

The best way to transmit film media in D2L in order to be in compliance with the TEACH Act is with the use of streaming.  Use the Panopto link found in LIVE courses tool bar . 

Other suggested methods for protecting copyrighted images or photos include:

•the use of low resolution images and thumbnails
•non-printable PDF
•digital watermarks
•disabling the right click copy function