University of Michigan Library Copyright Office
Using Third-Party Materials for Online Classes
The University of Michigan has moved all classes online because of COVID-19. We encourage instructors to work through the following considerations to make informed decisions:
Do user’s rights apply?
Fair Use right allows the use of copyrighted materials. COVID-19 is posing unique challenges for students to obtain course materials, which in turn makes the uses of third-party materials more likely to be fair. Fair use is also more likely to apply if the instructors limit the amount of the third-party materials, the duration of the materials shown, and/or the size of the audience.
Can you switch to other zero-risk or low-risk options?
Try linking to the resources when possible, instead of sharing or streaming third-party materials. Choosing public domain materials or Creative Commons licensed materials are also good alternatives. Because of COVID-19, many vendors have agreed to licensing their materials for free temporarily (see a list of vendors here).
For information streaming videos for online student events, please see our libguide on using video.
Our office provides information to help you make decisions about sharing and using copyrighted material in your research, learning, and teaching. Use the menu links to access our copyright guides and online resources, and take advantage of our person-to-person services.
Email email@example.com to ask questions about copyright or make appointments with us.
We are not empowered to grant permission for copyrights. For more information, see our guide on Permission.
Make an Online Appointment
Attend a Workshop
We offer public workshops on copyright. We also offer customized copyright education (presentations, workshops, etc.) for university groups, including faculty, staff, and students. Please email us if you're interested in setting up a customized workshop for your group.
Although we provide information and education about copyright, we are not able to provide legal advice.
Some copyright-related issues are handled elsewhere at the university:
If you have specific legal questions pertaining to the University of Michigan, please contact the Office of the General Counsel.
If you believe your copyright has been infringed on a web site hosted by the university, please contact our DMCA agent.
If you have questions about using the university trademarks, including the Block M, please consult the Permissions Guide from the university's Office of Communications.