Non-Print Materials

Can I show a video in my class? Can I include photographs or music in a presentation for my class?

Under the face-to-face teaching exception in Section 110(1) of the Copyright Act, a lawful copy of a video may be shown in a classroom or similar place at a nonprofit educational institution. The same is true for performance of music or display of images. View the Online Learning tab for more information on transmitting videos and images over digital networks. 

Can I make changes to a photograph or music file and use it in a class presentation? 

This question is best answered with a fair use analysis or by filling out a fair use checklist.

What about copying clips or short portions of movies to make compilations for classroom use? 

Most commercially available DVDs and Blu-ray discs are protected by Digital Rights Management (DRM) technologies that prevent a user from accessing or copying the video. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) prohibits the breaking of these various technological protection measures. Every three years, however, the Librarian of Congress identifies classes of copyrighted works that may be exempt from this anti-circumvention rule. These exemptions permit users to circumvent technological protection measures in order to make non-infringing uses of the work. Exemptions are only valid for a three year period, after which a new rulemaking process determines the new exemptions that will be valid for the next three years.

In 2015, an exemption to the DMCA anti-circumvention rule was granted for the circumvention of limited types of technological protection measures places on DVDs, Blu-ray discs, and digital transmissions of motion pictures. This exemption permits college or university faculty and students to break DRM in order to use short clips of a motion picture for educational purposes in film studies or other course requiring close analysis of film and media excerpts. Clips must be used for purposes of commentary or criticism. Short portions of motion pictures may also be used by faculty in MOOCs, but additional restrictions apply.

A total of ten exemptions were announced for the most recent rulemaking proceeding. A summary of all of the most recent exemptions can be found here.

DISCLAIMER: The information on these web pages and that received from Copyright Services at OSU Libraries and the Health Sciences Copyright Coordinator is not legal advice, nor is either office legal counsel to the university or any members of the university community.