Skip to Main Content
chat loading...
lirbary homepage

Faculty Help: Copyright: Canvas & Copyright

What can I post on Canvas?

Posting an item to Canvas does not exempt an instructor from copyright regulations. Therefore, instructors are encouraged to follow copyright "best practices" as outlined in the Copyright Clearance Center’s publication, Using Course Management Systems.

 Note that the guidelines suggested below are based on one interpretation of U.S. Copyright Law. If in doubt, it is always advisable to err on the side of caution and speak with legal counsel.



Not Allowed

Website containing copyrighted material

Link to the website via the LMS

Copying and pasting the information into the LMS 

Copyrighted web image

Must be educational in nature; display in the LMS for one semester

Repeated use over multiple semesters

Article from a library database

Direct linking to article allowed

Copying and pasting the article into the LMS

Article, book, book chapter, or DVD obtained through interlibrary loan or otherwise borrowed from another library

Permission must be obtained

Permission denied or not obtained

Scanned copyrighted image

Must be educational in nature; display in the LMS 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 one semester

More than the allotted percentages 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 thirty seconds without permission

Repeated use over multiple semesters

Video files

10% or three minutes, whichever is less

Repeated use over multiple semesters

Created by Dan Nolting, Chatham University. Reused with permission.

Canvas Best Practices

  • Whenever possible, link to content available outside Canvas
    • Use permanent links instead of pdfs
    • If you can't find a link to the content, contact the SFCC library to see if we have a subscription and ask for help 
  • Teach students to use research tools to find articles & books by their citations:
  • When all else fails, limit what you upload to Canvas, after checking Fair Use and TEACH Act guidelines
    • One article from a periodical, per course
    • One chapter from a book
    • Only upload content that's closely related to course objectives
    • Provide original creator and copyright holder citation
    • Include a Do Not Reproduce warning with all content
  • Avoid uploading videos or music
  • Use alternative OER content, licensed under Creative Commons
  • Avoid making paper copies


This guide is educational; it's not legal advice. 

Get Copyright Permissions

SFCC's Policy

As a non-profit educational institution, SFCC qualifies as an institution that may follow fair-use.  The institution's policy states:  "SFCC employees and students who wish to use copyrighted materials in their academic endeavors will be responsible for obtaining permission from copyright owners for all use that does not fall under fair use guidelines as outlined by the U.S. Copyright Office."


This page's content was developed by Andy Kulp at Shenandoah University.  Used with permission.


chat loading...