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How To...Use Media in the Classroom: Copyright and Fair Use: Home

DMCA: Digital Millenium Copyright Act

 Exemption for Nonprofit Libraries and Archives
Section 404 of the DMCA amends the exemption for nonprofit libraries and archives in section 108 of the Copyright Act to accommodate digital technologies and evolving preservation practices. Prior to enactment of the DMCA, section 108 permitted such libraries and archives to make a single facsimile (i.e., not digital) copy of a work for purposes of preservation or interlibrary loan. As amended, section 108 permits up to three copies, which may be digital, provided that digital copies are not made available to the public outside the library premises. In addition, the amended section permits such a library or archive to copy a work into a new format if the original format becomes obsolete—that is, the machine or device used to render the work perceptible is no longer manufactured or is no longer reasonably available in the commercial marketplace.


This guide is intended to illustrate Copyright Policy, Fair Use Guidelines, and College policy for the purposes of digitizing content for classroom use.

Currently, College of the Holy Cross offers support in acquiring and making available various forms of media, including hard to find and commercially produced motion pictures. We encourage faculty and staff to consider the Fair Use Guidelines found in this guide when planning for upcoming coursework.

With enough time, Ed Tech and the Libraries should be able to formulate a plan for using movies and other digitized content not only in the physical classroom but also in digitized format through Moodle. The Libraries are able to research and locate the proper license for purchasing such materials, and Ed Tech is able to edit movies for appropriate excerpts to be loaded into Moodle with the proper time limits enabled.

ITS and the Libraries aim to reduce barriers to use of these materials while still maintaining and respecting Copyright Law. We encourage faculty and staff to reach out to us for help in planning future use of digitized materials.

Holy Cross policy

College of the Holy Cross' Information Technology Services, including Educational Technology, and the Libraries adhere to US Copyright Law (Title 17 of the US Code).  Section 107 of the Copyright Law, the Fair Use Doctrine, provides the guiding principle behind the Libraries' course reserve and instructional media services. Section 108 deals with reproduction by libraries and archives.
Section 110(2) of the Copyright Act provides specific protection for some streaming and other uses, but it does not cover the entire variety of potential applications in instruction. Use of copyrighted media in the curriculum requires careful thought and planning to balance the risk of copyright litigation with the pedagogical value of the media content.
Guidance from College of the Holy Cross General Counsel governs local practice for digitization, hosting, and streaming of media (primarily video) content for instructional use. 
Professors may use digitized, hosted, and streamed copyrighted media in their instruction under the following conditions:
1. Prior written permission of the copyright holder or a public performance license
2. Displays and Performances in Face-to-Face Teaching (Section 110(1)). Under this exception, educators may make performances and displays of all types of works in a classroom or similar place at most educational institutions. It allows instructors and students to recite poetry, read plays, show videos, play music, project slides, and engage in many other performances and displays of protected works in the classroom setting. This statute is actually comparatively simple and broad, but keep in mind that it permits only displays and performances in the classroom—not the making of copies or the posting of digital works on servers. 
Compliance with the Face-To-Face and TEACH Act exemptions require limiting access to students currently enrolled in the class. The content may not be accessible by non-enrolled individuals, and may not be made available beyond the time when it is needed for that class.
At present, Panopto is the only system that provides the level of access control needed to meet this requirement. 

Movies on Moodle: A Faculty Guide (click anywhere on image to download PDF)