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Brian Cockburn Brian Cockburn's principal role is to teach and advise faculty, administrators and students about copyright, and intellectual property.
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Phone: 8-6978

Creative Commons License

Copyright@JMU is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

Can I use this song, video, or image on my class site?



You may usually use copyright-protected media in face to face (F2F) lectures in a classroom.  Pointing to or “embedding” publicly available media within your site is probably fine (unless there are licenses that, in fact, prohibit it–always read the fine print).  And, pointing to or embedding media licensed by JMU is almost always ok since it usually is protected by authentication.

However, capturing, copying, or “ripping” protected media (music, video, or images) to include in a fixed, tangible “site” usually requires that you obtain permission OR your use falls under provisions of the TEACH Act.

To determine whether your use is within TEACH Act provisions you should use the Exceptions for Instructors eTool.

Some important questions you will need to answer (although not all have to answered in the affrimative):

  • Is my “class site” mediated and protected so that only those enrolled may access (like Blackboard)?
  • Is the media itself protected by copyright or is it in the Public Domain?
  • Is the recording/performance protected by copyright?
  • Is the song directly related to the learning goals?

In all cases, it is best to document this use using tools like  the Exceptions for Instructors eTool and the Fair Use Evaluator. These can provide documentation of a “good faith” effort at responsible use and limit liability.

Additionally, JMU libraries has compiled a list of Free Media for Creative Use where you can find high quality music tracks, video, and images that may be used for creative endeavors.  most of the tracks, videos, and images are licensed under Creative Commons, in the Public Domain, or licensed by JMU.