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Copyright: Moodle

Links or Downloads

If all works on your course reading list can be accessed via persistent links, in general, copyright permissions are not required because links do not constitute copies of the works they reference. You may provide those links to students in whatever manner you choose. But if you prefer to provide PDF copies of the works in your course reading list by, for example, posting the PDFs in Moodle, each reading needs to be assessed as to whether or not copyright permissions are required.

Although licensing provisions vary across the Library's many subscribed databases, the following usage terms usually apply:

  • when a license permits downloading of content (e.g., PDFs) into Moodle, the content must be deleted when no longer needed for a course
  • attribution must be carried on downloaded content (author and title of excerpt/article, author and title of source/journal, publisher)
  • as authorized users of subscribed databases comprise only University of Lethbridge faculty, students, and staff, content may not be further distributed to others outside of the University unless the license permits scholarly sharing.

Please see the Copyright Permissions Flow Chart for an overview of the steps involved in assessing whether permission is required for reproducing or distributing course readings and other works to students.

In addition, the Library's Copyright Permissions Look-up tool can help you determine permitted uses and citation/attribution requirements for content in e-journal databases. This tool will also cover e-book collections in the future, but in the meantime, terms of use for many of the Library's e-books are available through the Library catalogue.

For assistance in assessing the copyright permissions status of materials you wish to post in Moodle, please contact the University Copyright Advisor.

Reusing Content

The rights of creators and users of copyright-protected works set out in the Canadian Copyright Act apply to works in all formats, including textual materials, images, and audio and video files made available in Moodle.

At the start of each new semester, Moodle prompts students and faculty to read and accept its Terms of Use, which are available at the bottom of each page.  Of particular relevance for faculty is the copyright term of use stating that:

Institutional and individually purchased license agreements generally limit use of digitally reproduced works to a single course offering in Moodle.  Before reusing a licensed work for a subsequent course, copyright permission must therefore be reverified or repurchased. 

Reverifying availability and usage terms of a licensed digital work (e.g., a PDF article from a Library subscribed database) is necessary, as the contents of the subscribed databases are typically in constant flux due to the addition of new material and removal of older material. Thus, a given work may no longer be available or usable today under the same terms applicable in a previous semester.  The Library’s Copyright Permissions Look-up tool can assist with article permissions reverification.

Please note that as of January 1, 2016, the University is no longer covered by an Access Copyright blanket license. This means that digital copies of Access Copyright repertoire works made under the University's license expiring December 31, 2015 must not be re-used without copyright owner permission. The license covers copying of repertoire works during the period January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2015. Titles considered by Access Copyright to be repertoire works can be searched using its Title Search and Permissions Tool.

If you plan to use a restored Moodle course that was created or last used between Spring 2011 and Fall 2015, please take the following steps to ensure permissions, when required, are obtained before reusing digital copies of copyrighted works made under the University's 2011-2015 Access Copyright licence:

  1. Determine whether each copied item is a published work.
  2. If published, determine whether the work is covered by fair dealing or a permission source other than Access Copyright allowing its use in Moodle. The following resources can help with this determination:
  3. For a published work not otherwise covered by fair dealing or a University of Lethbridge Library or open access licence, it is necessary to establish if the work is in Access Copyright's repertoire. The Access Copyright Title Search and Permissions Tool can help with this determination.
  4. For works appearing to be within the Access Copyright repertoire that are not covered by fair dealing or an alternative permission source, from January 1, 2016 instructors will need to ensure copyright owner permission or a transactional licence is in place or be prepared to remove the works. Please contact the University Copyright Advisor office if you require assistance in seeking permissions or transactional licences.

It remains the case that permission to reproduce certain kinds of materials such as Ivey and Harvard business cases in digital (and print) format must be purchased from the copyright owner or agent for each new course offering. Business cases have never been covered under Access Copyright blanket licensing.

Reverification and repurchasing of permissions are not new requirements, as copyright permissions are always secured before the Bookstore produces coursepack orders and before copied materials are placed on Library Electronic or Print Reserve. To avoid having to reverify or repurchase copyright permissions for digital reproductions (e.g., PDF articles and chapters) you wish to post in Moodle, your options include:

  • substituting persistent links for PDFs when available
  • substituting sources for which the copyright owner has provided an open access or Creative Commons license permitting your desired use.

Please feel free to request permission reverification assistance from the University Copyright Advisor at any time.

Contact Us

University Copyright Advisor office
Phone: 403-332-4472

Rumi Graham
University Copyright Advisor
L1154, University Library

Nanda Stannard
Library Operations Specialist
L1156, University Library

Mechelle McCalla
Library Operations Specialist
L1146, University Library

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