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Library Resources in the time of COVID-19: Copyright and Fair Use

This guide will be updated on a regular basis.

COVID 19 and Copyright


U.S. Copyright law’s fair use provision, 17 USC 107, allows for the copying and distribution of limited portions of in-copyright materials for teaching, education, and research, and other uses. This exception to copyright law exists to support copyright’s ultimate goal -- to provide a benefit to the public itself. As such, the law certainly should permit copying portions of rights-protected works for emergency distance education under a situation like the one we face today with COVID-19.  

We do not have clear guidance on copyright and fair use during this time.  It is best to follow the guidelines for Fair Use and the TEACH Act.   

Are there alternative texts or materials that can be used?  How much of a work is  needed to teach what you want to convey? 

Materials provided by the University Library should be in password protected Blackboard sites.  These materials should only be shared with currently enrolled students.  

We have a wide variety of streaming video that we have licensed for use by faculty in classes.  These should only be used in classes and not freely distributed.  


Public statement on Copyright and Fair Use