Skip to main content

Can I upload readings to Learning Suite?

Copyright law does allow instructors to deliver content to students for educational purposes without obtaining permission as long as it is within the parameters of fair use (17 U.S.C. §107). If you would like students to read various excerpts (book chapters, poems, scholarly articles) for class assignments but don't want students to purchase the entire publication, you have a few options.

At BYU there are currently three (3) options for delivering readings to students:

BYU Course Content Delivery Options

Updated 7/3/18

OptionDelivery MechanismCopyright?Contact Info
Library Course ReserveE-Reserve (via Learning Suite)Copyright Licensing Office (CLO) clears
BYU StoreCourse Packets (robust digital options available)Store clears
Faculty/StaffLearning Suite (direct upload)Faculty claims fair use and/or works with CLO for permissions/fair use. Must file a
BYU Fair Use Checklist for proposed use.

    1. The Library has a robust delivery method for excerpted course content (non-full works). They will scan your requested excerpt and then it will come through the Copyright Licensing Office (CLO) for copyright analysis. If the excerpt is deemed outside the parameters of fair use, the university will obtain permission to post the content. The E-Reserve system is currently only set up to deliver content through BYU’s Learning Suite.
      1. If you would like to deliver content on a different Learning Management System (Canvas, Blackboard) or directly to students via email or in-print, please contact the CLO for further assistance.
    1. If you have multiple readings, you may consider working with the BYU Store to organize a course pack for your course. They handle copyright permissions within their office (in conjunction with the CLO) and they coordinate the sales transaction and distribution of the course packs to your students.
    2. There are e-delivery options of course packs through the Store (via RedShelf), but there is a small additional cost to students for this e-delivery. However, the e-packets come with robust and interactive tools for annotations and highlighting within a digital PDF, if that is of interest.
    1. If you think the reading selection(s) are within the parameters of fair use, please complete a BYU Fair Use Checklist and then you are free to distribute the selection(s) to your students (e.g. scanned upload to Learning Suite, or in printed copies). We recommend limiting receipt of the content to actual students in the class in order to better comply with fair use purposes.
    2. If you need assistance analyzing fair use, please contact the CLO.
    1. FILMS: The Face-to-Face Classroom Exemption (17 U.S.C. §110(1)) in copyright law allows for the showing of films (even full-length) within the classroom or at a similar place devoted to instruction (e.g. the Library viewing rooms). If you have questions about whether or not your use qualifies for this exemption, please submit a movie showing request on our website and the CLO will review the details of your use and help determine whether or not it qualifies.
      1. For outside-of-class assignments to view full-length films we recommend requiring students to rent the film (as part of their course materials) on services such as Amazon or Google Play, or access it through a legal streaming service such as Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon. Some courses with multiple film viewings on the syllabus require a Netflix or other streaming account.
      2. Streaming “short portions” of films to students may be allowed but is a more complicated matter. We recommend contacting the CLO for further information.
    2. MUSIC: Copyright law allows for the playing of music within a classroom setting but generally does not allow for the distribution of copies of music to students unless there is a strong fair use argument. The Library offers various music streaming services to satisfy these needs, or we recommend requiring students to find their own lawful copies of the music, should they need it outside of class. For example, YouTube, Spotify, Amazon, Google Play, etc. It is important to not undercut the market for these valuable creative works in the name of education and pedagogy.
    3. POWERPOINTS: Faculty often desire to distribute their PowerPoints digitally to students via an LMS or other means. This is generally ok as long as the content is original (produced by the faculty) or falls within the bounds of fair use. 3rd party images are the most common copyright concern within PowerPoints so we highly recommend faculty use open-source, royalty free images within their PowerPoints whenever possible. If an image is required for the teaching or scholarly purpose, then it is likely a fair use of the image. We maintain a list of Free Image Resources on our website that may be helpful when trying to find royalty-free images to use. Please contact the CLO with any additional questions.