Learn@Illinois Moodle - Considering Copyright When Adding PDFs to Moodle
At times, you may be interested in providing access to PDF articles or book chapters to students to read for class. Before you upload any PDFs to Moodle, it is important to make sure that you follow these guidelines for best practice pertaining to copyright laws.
Link to an Article on the Web
- If possible, link out to articles that are available on general websites, such as newspaper or magazine articles, instead of posting PDFs.
- If the article (or book) is not available publicly, check to see if it is already licensed by the Library and post a link to it there.
Link to a Journal Article through the Library Using a Persistent Link
Assess Book Chapters for Fair UseFor items that are not available online, such as book chapters, you'll need to assess each item for fair use. Fair use is a case-by-case assessment where you'll consider the following factors for each item:
- the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for non-profit educational purposes;
- the nature of the copyrighted work;
- the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
- the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.
General Guidelines for Fair Use for Online Course Readings
- Do not use materials designed specifically for teaching, such as textbooks, worksheets, quiz questions, etc. These are strongly against the 4th factor regarding the market impact of your use. The safest option is to have students purchase these items.
- Use less than 10% of the entire work. For other types of readings, the main consideration is the overall amount of the work you’re using, since to meet fair use the selection should not function as a replacement for the entire work. There isn’t a defined amount of a book that’s automatically fair use, but a good guideline here would be to use less than 10% of the entire work.