Tips for Online Fair Use

To best position yourself to assert a fair use argument when using copyrighted materials, consider doing the following:
  • Link to the texts if possible rather than making an electronic copy available to students. Linking to materials is ordinarily not a violation of copyright but rather a technological instruction for locating materials. If you are using an article, e-book, or video from one of the Clark Memorial Library databases, please link to it rather than uploading it to your Blackboard course site. Also, you must create a proxied link. Information for creating a proxied link is below. If you do not do this, students will be unable to access this when they are not on the SSU campus.
  • If copying a text, use no more than is needed to serve your purpose.
  • Avoid copying materials created and marketed primarily for use in courses such as the one at hand (e.g. a textbook, workbook, or anthology designed for the course). Use of more than a brief excerpt from such works on digital networks is unlikely to be transformative and therefore unlikely to be a fair use.
  • Make sure that the materials serve a pedagogical purpose; do not use as entertainment.
  • Place the materials in the context of the course, explaining why they were chosen and what they are intended to illustrate. Recontextualize the materials when appropriate through the addition of study questions, commentary, criticism, annotation, and student reactions.
  • Limit access to the materials to students enrolled in the course.
  • Notify students that the materials are being made available for teaching, study, and research only.
  • For each item, provide an acknowledgement of the source, copyright, and publisher.

Adapted from "Fair Use and Copyright for Online Education" by University of Rhode Island University Libraries, under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License "Tips for Online Fair Use" is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License by Marla Beebe.

University of Arkansas Libraries developed an excellent guide for understanding fair use and online classes. I encourage you to visit it. The University of Arkansas Fair Use Checklist within the "Fair Use" tab is especially helpful.

Questions about Use?

If you have any questions about using copyrighted material, Creative Commons, or open educational resources, please contact a librarian. We can help!

Persistent URLs and Off-Campus Access

You may want to add links to articles and other materials from the Clark Memorial Library databases to your Blackboard site. Please use the persistent and proxied URLs and, for example, not simply upload a PDF of an article.

Persistent links take the user directly to the desired content and proxied links make the material accessible to those on campus or off campus. A proxied link passes students who are on campus directly to the resource.  If a user is off campus, they are asked to authenticate.  One URL serves both sets of users.

If links to articles or other content from the library databases do not have the proxy prefix, students will not be able to access these materials.

Do you need help adding links for library resources to your Blackboard Course?

Library liaisons can help you link directly to content with persistent and proxied URLs.

You can also use the form below to create proxied URLs.

Please contact a librarian if you need help!

1. Copy and paste your source URL here:
2. Click Create link button below:
3. Copy and paste the resulting link into Blackboard: