On Campus

Crash course in copyright law for professors

U.S. interactive guide shows how to avoid breaking copyright in class

When I went to university, there were two types of professors: those who loved using audio, video clips and pictures in their classroom slideshows, and those who stood at the front of a lecture hall and talked.

But according to Baruch College at the City University New York, some professors might not be using copyrighted material in their classes because they don’t want to break any copyright laws and are erring on the safe side. For those teachers, and those who might be unknowingly breaking the law, the university recently released their interactive guide to using multimedia in academic courses.

Riding the “copyright metro,” professors can click through various questions about the multimedia they want to use in the classroom or online, which leads the user though a maze of options and questions, along with some additional information about fair use and American copyright law.

Keep in mind, though, it’s a primer on American copyright law. For some Canadian copyright resources for profs, you can take a peek at the Canadian Education Ministers of Canada’s Copyright Matters!