Skip to main content

Copyright for Faculty: FAQs

This guide is maintained by NOVA librarians to assist faculty in maintaining a copyright compliant classroom, both online and in-person. If you have questions or comments, please contact Heather Blicher at hblicher@nvcc.edu or Julie Combs at jcombs@nvcc.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make photocopies of this article for my class?

Instructors can make one copy per student in their class. However, the the copies must meet the tests of brevity, spontaneity, cumulative effect and each copy includes a notice of copyright.

Brevity - Examples: A complete poem of less than 250 words, or an excerpt from a longer poem of not more than 250 words. A complete article, story or essay of less than 2,500 words. An excerpt of prose not more than 10% of the work. One chart, graph, diagram, drawing cartoon or picture per book or per periodical issue.

Spontaneity - The copying is at the instance and inspiration of the individual instructor, and the decision to use the work and the moment of its use are so close in time that it would be unreasonable to expect a timely reply to a request for permission.

Cumulative Effect - With the exceptions of newspapers, or current news of other periodicals, the copying is only for one course. Each course is limited to one instance from the same author or three instances from the same collective work on periodical volume during one semester. Cannot provide more than nine instances of photocopying for the entire class per semester.

Can I link to an article from one of the library databases in Blackboard?

Yes. If the college has access to an article through the library databases, linking to it through your Blackboard course is always good practice.

Can I link to a website in Blackboard?

Yes. Linking to a website that is open for all to see is considered an "implied license." However, if the website has some sort of method for you to accept their terms of use (usually by click an 'accept' button), then by clicking 'accept' you are required to follow their licensing terms for the website.

Are my student's presentations, assignments, etc. copyrighted?

Yes, they are. Before reusing student work as an example, you should always ask for permission from your students.

Can I digitize this VHS tape, picture, etc.?

Generally not if it is available for sale in digital format.

Will the college license for Microsoft Office allow me to put the software on my home computer?

Only if you teach a course in MS Office.