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Moving Courses Online

Normally, online classes would utilize the TEACH Act and a TEACH Act Checklist when determining if something can be used for class, but it is currently more complicated with in-person classes moving to online. Please see the Public Statement of Library Copyright Specialists: Fair Use & Emergency Remote Teaching & Research for more information.

Fair use is generally what allows use of materials in face-to-face classes without obtaining permission. In the current situation of moving face-to-face classes online, fair use should continue to allow materials to be used, especially if they are limited to students with access to D2L Brightspace. When determining if your use is fair, walk through each of the four factors.

If you have any questions regarding fair use or the TEACH Act Checklist, do not hesitate to contact the Copyright Center at

What can the Copyright Center do for you?

What can the Copyright Center do for you?

The Copyright Center is a centralized place for all your answers to copyright-related topics. Here you can learn about:

Browse the guide, use the tools, or contact Center at for individual questions and instruction.

The information contained in this guide should not be considered legal advice or counsel.

Key Points

  • Copyright is automatic once the work is in a tangible form.
  • Copyright holders have the rights to reproduce, distribute, make derivative works, and publicly display or perform their works.
  • There are specific exemptions within copyright law that allow use without permissions.
  • If a use does not qualify for an exemption, permission must be obtained for the use.
  • Fair use is the most commonly used exemption in an educational setting.
  • The TEACH Act was designed for online classes but fair use can also be used.