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Doane Library Services for Faculty

Doane Library Resources and Course Materials

If you want your students to read or view something (an article, eBook, or streaming video) the Doane library already subscribes to, you are always free to provide a permalink to that content within your Blackboard course. See "Finding Permalinks" under the Off-Campus Access section of this guide. US Copyright Law allows for links back to legitimate, legal copies of copyrighted works. 

If you have specific questions about providing certain types of content, or would like help finding resources in the library, contact

If your use of materials does not fall under fair use and you cannot find an alternative in the library collection, you may request permission using the Copyright Clearance Center's Pay-Per-Use Academic Licenses service. 

What is Copyright?

The goal of copyright law, as grounded in the U.S. Constitution, is to promote the progress of science and the useful arts.

Copyright is a form of protection granted to authors that provides them, for a limited period of time, with certain exclusive rights. These rights are intended to encourage authors to create, thereby providing society with valuable works.

The limitation on the length of copyright (as well as other limitations such as fair use) balances the benefits of incentives for authors with the benefits of allowing the public to make use of copyrighted materials in a free and democratic society.

A copyright owner has the exclusive right to do and to authorize others to do any of the following:

  • To reproduce the work in copies or phonorecords
  • To prepare derivative works based upon the work
  • To distribute copies or phonorecords of the work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending
  • To perform the work publicly, in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and motion pictures and other audiovisual works
  • To display the work publicly, in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and pictorial, graphic, or sculptural works, including the individual images of a motion picture or other audiovisual work
  • To perform the work publicly (in the case of sound recordings) by means of a digital audio transmission

Fair Use

Copied from the policies outlined by the Department of Online and Innovative Learning at Doane. If use of materials is challenged, determination of fair use is ultimately determined by a court of law. For that reason, none of this should be considered legal advice.


Under the Copyright Act, copyright owners have the exclusive right to reproduce, distribute, perform, display, and prepare derivative works of their creations. If another person desires to reproduce or use a copyrighted work, that person must either seek permission from the copyright owner or fall within the Copyright Act’s “fair use” exemption. “Fair use” is a defense to copyright infringement that allows one to use a copyrighted work under certain conditions without the permission of the copyright owner, as discussed in more detail throughout this document.

If you have any questions about whether a particular use constitutes “fair use,” please contact your Department chair or academic Dean.


There are no bright line rules or tests with the fair use doctrine. To determine whether a use is “fair use,” courts weigh the four factors outlined below. Following each factor are some considerations that, if true in a particular situation, are suggestive of fair use as it relates to that factor. Keep in mind that each of the four factors must be considered; no single factor is dispositive when determining whether a particular use is appropriate.

1) The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes.

- Materials are provided only for the purpose of serving the educational needs of the course and only for one course
- Students are not charged a fee for the course materials, nor does the University benefit monetarily from the use of the materials.

2) The nature of the copyrighted work.

- The selected work is directly relevant to the learning objectives for the course
- Careful consideration was taken with regards to “consumable” materials that are meant to be used and repurchased

3) The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole.

- Amount of materials provided are limited, consisting of less than 10% of the total work
- The amount of work provided is directly related to the learning objectives in the course

4) The effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

- Materials provided include a citation to the original source of publication and a form of copyright notice when applicable
- Materials are made available exclusively for students enrolled in the course and for educational purposes only within the course; students may not distribute the materials beyond the limits of the course
- Access to materials is limited by password to deter unauthorized access beyond the use of the course
- Materials provided include works that the instructor, the library, or University has lawfully obtained a copy
- Materials are not provided that are reasonably available and affordable for students to purchase