It is important to consider copyright status when adding course materials to modules in Moodle. Remember that distributing material in electronic format, including uploading it to Moodle, constitutes copying and is likely to infringe the rights of the copyright owner unless you have permission from them.
If you are in any doubt please ask permission from the copyright owner before you copy, modify or distribute their work. Contact the SGUL Library at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need further advice.
Q: I want to make a journal article or an extract from a book available for students in Moodle. What do I need to do?
A: Under the terms of our Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) HE Licence only designated library & Moodle support staff may scan and upload published material into Moodle. This is because all digital copies of published material must include a CLA copyright notice and a detailed record of all such copies must also be kept by the library and forwarded to the CLA.
The principle of ‘fair dealing’ permits the library to carry out a certain amount of copying/scanning for you for the purposes of private study or non-commercial research – but we have to abide by the following regulations:
- the library can scan up to 5% or one whole chapter (whichever is the greater) from a book;
- the library can scan up to 5% or one whole article (whichever is the greater) from a single issue of a journal;
- the library can normally only scan material from publishers who publish in the UK or USA provided they are not on the CLA excluded works list;
- all scanned PDFs must have a CLA copyright notice attached to the front. The library will do this for you when we scan and upload your article into Moodle;
- any item that is to be scanned must to be owned by the institution. If it is not owned by us, the library will try to obtain a copyright-fee paid version from the British Library which we will scan and upload into Moodle for you.
Tip: Instead of uploading a journal article and/or book chapter in PDF (or other) format into Moodle you may find it easier to directly link to an article or chapter. If you are unsure how to do this, see the short video clip below – ‘How to link to articles in Moodle using SFX’.
Please note: both SGUL staff & students have off-site access to electronic content and resources provided by the Library via Shibboleth authentication. Please see the Library’s ‘Accessing SGUL electronic resources off-site’ guide (PDF file) for further information.
For advice & assistance on uploading material into Moodle, please contact the SGUL Library at email@example.com.
Q: Can I use extracts of text, tables or diagrams (e.g. from books or journal articles) in my lecture slides and upload them into Moodle?
A: The scanning of printed material into electronic form for the purposes of private study or non-commercial research may be regarded as ‘fair dealing’. However, the material may not subsequently be republished e.g. placed on a web page or included in teaching materials which are held in a Moodle module.
Under the terms of the CLA Licence held by SGUL, only designated library & Moodle support staff may scan extracts from published material, within certain limits, for use in Moodle – provided it is covered under the terms of this agreement. Currently, the scanning element of this licence only permits copying from publications published in the UK or USA, provided they are not on the CLA excluded works list. Each scanned extract must include the CLA copyright notice and a detailed record of scanned extracts must be kept by the library.
Q: Do I need copyright clearance to use lecture slides, images or video in Moodle?
A: Slides from your own lectures, for which you hold the copyright, can be easily incorporated into a Moodle course. However you will need copyright permission to use materials which belong to other individuals. Take care to ensure that all images and multimedia in presentations are copyright free or permitted by the rights holder. Also, please be aware that permission to use an item may not give you permission to adapt it, so (for example) you may have permission to use an image in its original form, but not if you crop it (check the licence terms).
It is possible to include digitised TV or radio excerpts which have been recorded under the Educational Recording Agency (ERA) Licence. The Licence stipulates that an excerpt must not be edited and should be clearly identified with the programme title, date of recording and channel, together with a statement saying it was recorded under the terms of the ERA Licence.
Q: Am I able to use anything downloaded from the internet (e.g. images) in my teaching materials?
A: If you wish to use an image from a website you must make sure that you have permission from the copyright holder to do so. Increasingly, commercial website owners are including a watermark in an image to discourage illegal copying.
To avoid any possible copyright issues, it is best to only use images where it explicitly states on the website or against the image that the material is in the public domain or covered by an open license such as Creative Commons (CC). For more information about Creative Commons licences, see the section below ‘What is Creative Commons and how do the licenses work?’.
There are an increasing number of web sites available that provide a large number of good quality images with unrestricted use. A good selection can be found at Creative Commons Search. The Library also lists websites for images and video under a CC license or in the public domain here.
When using any image, it is good practice to provide attribution (e.g. under the image on a PowerPoint slide). Creative Commons provide guidance here for images using this type of license here.
For any other image in the public domain, unless the website specifies how to attribute, under an image include “source: <web address to page where image is located>” and name of creator / photographer if known.
Q: Does copyright exist on the internet? Can I use materials that I find on the internet for educational purposes?
A: Copyright exists on web-based materials in the same way as other published materials. You cannot cut and paste information or images into your site from another site without permission. If you wish to direct students to other web-based materials, you can link to other websites.
Many educational websites will freely grant permission for other academics to use their material. You will need to identify the copyright holder and often the webmaster for a site is the most useful first point of contact. Their contact details are usually included on the bottom of web pages.
Images are equally covered by copyright law and increasingly commercial website owners are including a watermark in their images to discourage illegal copying. There are several web sites available that provide a large number of good quality, free-to-use images i.e. in the public domain or covered by an open license such as Creative Commons (CC). A good selection can be found at Creative Commons Search. The Library also lists websites for images and video under a CC license or in the public domain here.
For more information about Creative Commons licences, see the section below ‘What is Creative Commons and how do the licenses work?’.
Q: What about linking to other websites?
A: Generally, linking to other sites does not cause copyright issues. However, there are good practice guidelines you should adhere to:
- If you link to a resource available on the web, do check from time to time that it is still valid as material may be moved or taken down
- If you are linking to an external website you may wish to ensure the link opens in a new browser window or a new tab. This is to make it clear that the user is visiting an external site. It is particularly important when you are linking from Moodle, as it will help the student navigate back to Moodle
Q: Can I link to electronic resources available through the Library?
A: Yes, that’s fine. Most of our electronic resources can be accessed off site as well, but require a log in using a University username and password. If you need help with setting up links in Moodle please see the short video clip below – ‘How to link to articles in Moodle using SFX’.
Q: What is Creative Commons and how do the licenses work?
A: Creative Commons (CC) is a way of licensing material to protect some of the rights, rather than copyright which protects the work entirely. You can find out more about the Creative Commons movement and the licenses on the CC website. So, for example, some people are happy to allow you to re-use their work (e.g. an image, a video) if it’s for a non-commercial purpose and if you give them credit. You can search for material licensed under different types of Creative Commons licenses using Creative Commons Search. The Library also lists websites for images and video under a CC license or in the public domain here.
© 2011 Jane Secker/LSE. Adapted for use by St George’s, University of London
Video clip: 'How to link to articles in Moodle using SFX' (4' 36")