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Copyright: Copyright & Canvas

Copyright Best Practices

What is allowed?

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 Canvas does not exempt an instructor from copyright regulations. Therefore, instructors are encouraged to consult these guidelines. In order of preference, these include: 

  1. Link to your article from a library database (see below for more information on locating persistent links to articles).
  2. If a persistent link is unavailable, complete a Fair Use Evaluation and if you use is Fair Use, you scan your article and then upload it to Canvas.
  3. Repeated use of the same content over multiple semesters weighs against fair use. For repeated use, you will likely need to contact the publisher and request permission.


Item Probably Allowed Not allowed
Web site containing copyrighted material Link to the web site in Canvas Copying and pasting the information into Canvas
Copyrighted web image Must be educational in nature; display in Canvas for one semester Repeated use over multiple semesters
Article from a library database Direct linking to article allowed Copying and pasting the article into Canvas
Scanned copyrighted image Must be educational in nature; display in Canvas 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


Persistent Links, or PermaLinks, to Content in Library Databases are Always Copyright Compliant

If you copy a database link from your Internet browser's url bar into Canvas or another browser, 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, or PermaLinks, for their articles. These are stable links that will consistently take students to a particular full-text article in a library database, though they may be asked to login with the MyNWACC credentials before they can view the full-text.

Here are two examples of permalinks from two different databases. The impotant part of the links are in bold. For Ebsco databases it includes a customer id number, and for Academic Video Online, it includes a proxy prefix. 

Ebsco ebook example

Academic Video Online Streaming Film example


Need help locating a persistent link, or permalink, in a  library database? Email for assistance.


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