Under the “fair use” provision of copyright law, a person may make limited use of another author’s work without asking permission. As noted elsewhere in this guide:
"There's no one right answer as to what constitutes a "fair use" of a particular copyrighted work. The answer varies from situation to situation."
Posting an item to Blackboard does not exempt an instructor from copyright regulations. Therefore, instructors are encouraged to consult these guidelines. In order of preference, these include:
|Item||Probably Allowed||Not allowed|
|Web site containing copyrighted material||Link to the web site via Blackboard||Copying and pasting the information into Blackboard|
|Copyrighted web image||Must be educational in nature; display in Blackboard for one semester||Repeated use over multiple semesters|
|Article from a library database||Direct linking to article allowed||Copying and pasting the article into Blackboard|
|Scanned copyrighted image
||Must be educational in nature; display in Blackboard for one semester||Repeated use over multiple semesters|
|Scanned chapter from a book||
5% of the total work if in-print, 10% of the total work if out-of-print--allowed for only one semester
|More than the allotted percents or repeated use over multiple semesters|
|Scanned article from a journal, trade publication, or magazine||A single article for one semester||Multiple articles from the same publication or repeated use over multiple semesters|
|Audio files||No more than 30 seconds without permission||Repeated use over multiple semesters|
|Video files||10% or three minutes, whichever is less||
Repeated use over multiple semesters
(The courts are not bound by these amounts and the Copyright Act contains no such amounts. Therefore it is always advisable to err on the side of caution and complete your own Fair Use Evaluation before scanning and posting to Blackboard.)
If you copy a database link from your Internet browser into Blackboard, that link will eventually stop working because it is a dynamic, non-static link. To eliminate this problem, most database companies now offer persistent links for their articles. Persistent links (also known as persistent URLs) are stable links that will consistently take students to a particular full-text article in a library database.
Note that to ensure access by off-campus users, all persistent links should include proxy information in the first segment of the URL: http://ezproxy.mercyhurst.edu/login?url=
For example, if you wanted to link to the following persistent URL (noted in bold) from the "course documents" section of Blackboard, then it should look like this:
Need help locating a persistent link in a particular library database? See the below documents for a listing of library databases with persistent URLs. Included in both documents are information about how to use persistent URLs from within Blackboard.