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Copyright: Classroom Exception

A guide to understanding copyright laws and applications in the classroom and research.

About Section 110

Section 1101 part 1 of the copyright code allows educators to display films, tv shows, and images, listen to sound recordings, perform theatrical works, read copyrighted texts and lo without seeking permission.

There are three conditions however:

  • The institution must be accredited and non-profit,
  • The display, performance, recitation, etc. must be in a classroom and cannot be not online,
  • Similarly, the instructor must be there in person.

What about online education?

Unfortunately online education is a rather murky area of Copyright law.  However, Part 2 of section 110 provides some guidance for using materials, other than films.  Films protected by copyright cannot be streamed online from a DVD. or streaming service like NetFlix.

  • The institution must be an accredited, and non-profit,
  • The use must be directly related and of material assistance to the teaching content of the online instruction,
  • The use must be limited to a specific number of students enrolled in a specific class, and can not be accessible to student outside of that class,
  • The use must either be for live or asynchronous class sessions,
  • The university must developed and publicized copyright policies, providing faculty, students and staff with accurate information about and resources for complying with copyright laws, with further notice to students that instruction materials are protected by copyright law,
  • The university implements protective, technological measures to ensure compliance with copyright law, such as user authentication, content timeouts, print-disabling, cut and paste disabling, etc.
  • The institution does not otherwise engage is conduct that would interfere with technological measures used by copyright holders like anti-pirating components of software,
  • That the use does not contravene existing licensing agreements between the institution and a vendor.

Section 110 Disclaimer

Right-click on the image below and save it.  You can print it out and place it on items that you scan or otherwise as needed.

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Using Section 110 in the Classroom

Section 110 part 1 of the copyright code allows educators to display films, tv shows, and images, listen to sound recordings, perform theatrical works, read copyrighted texts and lo without seeking permission.

There are three conditions however:

  • The institution must be accredited and non-profit,
  • The display, performance, recitation, etc. must be in a classroom and cannot be not online,
  • Similarly, the instructor must be there in person.

What about online education?

Part 2 of section 110 provides some guidance for online education:

  • The institution must be an accredited, and non-profit,
  • The use must be directly related and of material assistance to the teaching content of the online instruction,
  • The use must be limited to a specific number of students enrolled in a specific class, and can not be accessible to student outside of that class,
  • The use must either be for live or asynchronous class sessions,
  • The university must developed and publicized copyright policies, providing faculty, students and staff with accurate information about and resources for complying with copyright laws, with further notice to students that instruction materials are protected by copyright law,
  • The university implements protective, technological measures to ensure compliance with copyright law, such as user authentication, content timeouts, print-disabling, cut and paste disabling, etc.
  • That the institution does not otherwise engage is conduct that would interfere with technological measures used by copyright holders like anti-pirating components of software,
  • That the use does not contravene existing licensing agreements between the institution and a vendor.
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