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Copyright & Fair Use


As University of Oregon increases online course offerings, and more on-ground classes begin to use Canvas as a learning tool, faculty will need to consider how copyright and fair use factor into the content they share with students in the learning management system (LMS). Generally speaking, it's always preferable to link out to external content that you do not own the copyright for, and this is not typically considered a copyright infringement because you are not creating a duplicate copy of a copyrighted work. That being said, linking out to a resource that is infringing on someone else's rights could be considered contributory infringement, do your due diligence to ensure that the work you are linking to is either the original or a legal copy.

If there isn't a way to link out to a resource, and you wish to create and upload a copy of a resource to Canvas that you have not asked for permission to do, be sure to work through the fair use evaluation process, and document your analysis for your own records.

For more information, see the following page on this guide:

It's a good practice to upload your fair use documentation in the LMS for convenient access at a later date, such as in the "Files" tool of your course site. It's also good practice to include a full citation of the work where you deliver it to students, contextual information about how the resource relates to your course and supports student learning, and a notice for students to not distribute the copy outside of the password-protected LMS.


University of Oregon faculty members have access to Panopto, a video platform that enables you to record video presentations, manage existing video files and stream them to any device. This platform is also integrated with the Canvas learning management system, which makes it easy to deliver video-based learning materials for online or hybrid courses. Because Copyright Law sets strict limits on the distribution of copyrighted video and audio content, it's important to do a careful analysis of the four factors of fair use before uploading any video content that you did not create. 

If you find that your intended use of copyrighted content in Panopto does not weigh in favor of fair use, you're not out of luck! We suggest reaching out to the copyright holder to seek written permission before uploading. If you need assistance with this, contact the University of Oregon Copyright Clearance Office.

If you need assistance with video digitization, please request this through the UO Service Portal.

Panopto Copyright Tips

  • When distributing copyrighted media to students, remember to accompany links in Canvas with bibliographic information acknowledging the source, in addition to a caution against using or sharing the media inappropriately.
  • Rather than uploading the entire video, consider how much material you really need to accomplish the educational outcome and support your students' learning. Which specific parts of the video align with your course and weekly outcomes? This may be one clip or several.
  • When uploading copyrighted content to Panopto, be sure to edit the sharing settings to ensure that only registered users in your course can access the media.
    • We suggest the "Specific people​" setting, which will allow only students who have access to your Canvas site to view the media.

For additional information on copyright and fair use as it relates to audio and video materials, please see the following pages in this guide:

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