One of the first issues I encountered on the job as an instructional designer was the misuse of copyrighted media by instructors. Unfortunately, this was propagated by the previous uninformed instructional designer. According to the U.S. Copyright law and Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), copying copyrighted material is a violation. Basically, you cannot modify the existing format (e.g., copying a VHS to DVD format or converting it to a MP4 file) Review your faculty manual or school guidelines on the use of copyrighted material in the classroom. Also, I recommend talking with the copyright expert on your campus. For example, I learned a lot from a librarian at our College who is knowledgeable on the topic.
Here are a few useful websites to reference to aid your understanding of the topic:
The following are some practical solutions that I put together for a job aid when redirecting instructors to best practices within the law. Here are some recommendations to show copyright-protected videos to students:
1) Only show a small segment of a privately owned video in your class to illustrate a lesson, as part of the Fair Use laws (Title 17, Section 107, U. S. Code, Copyright.gov). Avoid showing an entire video of copyrighted material, as this constitutes a public performance of it and is prohibited by law. Use a Fair Use checklist to determine the purpose, nature, amount, and effect of the media use for educational purposes.
2) Place your videos on course reserves for checkout by students in the library for one semester only to meet spontaneous requirements. Fill out the necessary paperwork with the library at the circulation desk for course reserves. If a student does not have a VHS or DVD player, they may be able to check out one on a TV cart to take to a study room in the library for viewing. Meanwhile, place a request order with the purchasing librarian for the library reserves. See solution # 4.
3) Search the library’s video databases to see if the same content is available (e.g., Films on Demand and WorldCat). Films on Demand provides Live Media Streaming. Students log in with their school credentials to view.
4) There is an option for the library to purchase DVD formats for multiperson use to include in their collection. Contact the purchasing agent in your school’s library to learn more about this option.
Please share any of your recommendations on this topic!