Key points to remember:

  • Most of the legal issues are the same whether the teaching is done in person or online (via Brightspace).
  • If it was okay to do in class, it is often okay to do online – when your online course/lecture is limited to the same enrolled students.
  • You can continue to apply the Carleton Fair Dealing policy.

Additional advice:

  • Use password-protected Brightspace to make material available to your students; and use Big Blue Button and Kaltura to deliver lectures with copyrighted content.
  • can help with getting things online - linking to Libraries’ licensed resources, finding ebooks where available, and much more, including getting and paying for permissions when necessary.
  • You can also link to resources within Carleton's library, or link out to Internet content.
  • Post your in-class slides to Brightspace. If you’ve adopted a textbook, slides provided by textbook publishers can almost always be shared in your online class, according to their Terms of Use.
  • Your Subject/Liaison Librarian may be able to help you find alternative content, and the Carleton library has a large collection of online journals and ebooks that can help support online learning.
  • Use phone apps like Genius Scan or Adobe Scan to easily scan and post hard-copy materials to Brightspace within the limits allowed by the Carleton Fair Dealing policy. Make scanned PDF files more accessible for your students by using an optical character recognition (OCR) online tool to convert "non-selectable" text files into more accessible versions.

Audio and Video:

  • If you can limit audio and video use for your course to brief clips, you may be able to include those in lecture recordings or live-casts using your institution's fair dealing guidelines. The Carleton Fair Dealing policy allows you to use up to 10% of a copyrighted work to be distributed to students in your class only. But - you cannot break digital rights management protection (DRM) to get the clips. This means that using material from DVDs is almost always impossible.
  • Sharing audiovisual material like films and audio files is more complex. Remember you can still link to legally posted online content (from YouTube etc.). Carleton library also has streaming movies and documentaries that you may link to. Standard commercial streaming options like Netflix, Crave or Disney Plus might be an option, but only if students have their own accounts.

Copies for examinations:

  • Using small excerpts of copyrighted material in exams can be easy, as you can use the Carleton Fair Dealing policy. If you need to use more than a brief excerpt, there are exceptions in the copyright act. Contact to implement these as there are rules that need to be followed to use them.

Contact if you have any questions about copyright or licensing.

This resource has been adapted for Canadian universities by the Canadian Association of Research Libraries from material prepared by the Copyright Office, University of Minnesota document Copyright Services, Rapidly shifting your course from in-person to online. Unless otherwise noted, all content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License. We would like to acknowledge some contribution of adaptation language from University of Toronto Scholarly Communications & Copyright Office and Toronto Metropolitan University Library.

Content last reviewed: