How Can I Design Copyright-Compliant Courses?

How Can I Design Copyright-Compliant Courses?

A Preventive Approach to Copyright Problems

You’ve probably heard this bit of common wisdom—“It’s easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission.”

The problem is that it’s just not true when it comes to college and university courses—especially online courses.

You’re much better off designing your courses following current best practices in fair use and copyright law.

You can spare yourself and possibly your institution a lot of problems and potential litigation by keeping your course design and use of materials within the limits of the law.

In fact, simply being able to demonstrate that you were making a good-faith effort to follow best practices can be helpful if sticky situations develop.

The good news is that you can learn what you need to know to avoid such complications in just 20 minutes with How Can I Design Copyright-Compliant Courses?


Your presenter for this program literally wrote the book—or books—on higher education and distance education and fair use. She gives a presentation that combines legal expertise with real-world teaching experience.

The result? A practical primer on how to use course materials legally. You’ll learn:

  • The three key components of course design and delivery
  • The three most common copyright arrangements for course design materials
  • The five factors used to determine fair use
  • Legal ways to use electronic resources in your online courses
  • The key differences between open access and public domain materials

Learning Goals

After participating in this 20-Minute Mentor, you’ll be able to:

  • Recognize copyright compliance as a course design issue
  • Analyze the legal issues related to common types of course materials
  • Formulate plans based on what can be done
  • Determine what is permissible, what isn’t permissible, and what requires a judgment call

Topics Included

Like many problems, copyright issues are best dealt with as early as possible. How Can I Design Copyright-Compliant Courses? will show you how to address these potential problems right away.

This presentation will give you an overview of fair use and copyright law and will show you best practices to keep you on the right side of the law.

You’ll explore:

  • The first place to look for guidance on copyright issues
  • Common types of course materials and how and when you can use them legally
  • When you can clearly create class resources from your own books and journals and when you can’t
  • Best practices for citing material in the public domain
  • The main function of open access or Creative Commons licenses
  • The essential differences between derivative and transformative works

The presenter also digs into a copyright infringement lawsuit against Georgia State University to show you the most specific guidance on copyright a court has given to date.


It doesn’t matter whether you teach online, in classrooms, or in blended courses. It also doesn’t matter whether you’re a veteran educator or just starting your career in higher education—all faculty members who design college and university courses will find this presentation helpful.

Copyright law is evolving to meet the needs of the 21st century, and this presentation will help you keep up with the latest standards and terms, no matter how jam-packed your schedule is.


Excellence in course design is essential for success in higher education today.

Learn what you can do to get your next course off to a great start and order How Can I Design Copyright-Compliant Courses? today!

Product Code: NM14BA

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