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Affordable Course Materials

A guide for exploring course reserves, electronic resources, and OA/OER

Teaching Materials and Copyright - What or How Much Can I Use?

Copyright is a legal term describing ownership of control of the rights to the use and distribution of certain works of creative expression, including books, video, motion pictures, musical compositions and computer programs.  Many educational uses may fall under what is called fair use. When the proposed use does not seem supported by the provisions of fair use, you will need to seek permission from the copyright owner.  The evaluator tool below can help you analyze whether you need to seek copyright permission.  The Copyright Crash Course also provides guidance and information.

The Library Course Reserves Program

The Cal Poly Library has a program called Course Reserves to maximize access to required course materials that it owns or licenses. This use has copyright implications, which you can explore with the following resources. 

Using Film and Streaming Media In the Classroom

Streaming video content licensed by and available through Kennedy Library is fully available to stream in a classroom setting.  (Be aware that permissions for public screenings in most cases need to be obtained separately.) It is considered a best practice to list course-required videos on Kennedy Library's Course Reserves. 

Caution: Personal streaming accounts with providers such as, but not limited to, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu are liable to user agreements and these agreements often prohibit an activity such as streaming a movie in a classroom.  Please review your user agreement to ensure that your use is legal.

Embedding Videos

All of the library's streaming videos are licensed for classroom use.  While adding a video to course reserves remains the best practice, it is also possible to embed streaming videos directly in Canvas.

The process is similar for each of the library's streaming video collections: