3.3 Copyright

Copyright issues are addressed; appropriate permissions have been received and/or proper citations provided on the page where the content is accessed. Proper citations and permissions must be provided for all non-original course materials.

Points: 3 (Essential)

QM Alignment: 4.3


Materials used should be timely in relation to topics being covered and have visible reference to copyright. The course should model academic integrity by providing appropriate citations when using work that is owned or created by someone else (e.g. graphics, images, videos, journal articles).
When selecting course content, you need to apply the fair use principle to ensure your content can be used for educational purposes.
  • Purpose: Content is used in a course for specific educational needs.
  • Nature: Content aligns with learning objectives and curriculum.
  • Amount: Selected content is limited to chapters, works, or excerpts.
  • Market Impact: Use of the content does not impact sales of the item.
Selected content should include a citation to the original source of publication and a form of a copyright notice.


  • HCC offers a course on Copyright in Bridge that all instructors are required to complete before teaching online.
  • Consider adopting free and openly-licensed content in your course. See this handout on Open Educational Resources and Open Pedagogy.
  • If there is a video on Youtube or elsewhere, do not download it and upload a copy to your course (Canvas Studio). Instead, link to it or embed it in your course without copying it. To meet accessibility standards, however, you will likely need to download the transcript and edit and link to the corrected transcript. That is permissible.

Common Issues

  • Using third party resources without attribution
  • Documents or text quote or use references without citation

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Where should I cite/reference my course material?
    • You could add information about sources or copyright to a Credits page at the end of your course or put that information underneath your syllabus on the Syllabus page or wherever you prefer.
  • What about images?
    • If using an openly-licensed image or video, you might just add a caption underneath that gives proper attribution.
    • Otherwise, you could add info on where you got images or their licenses to a Credits page or elsewhere as described in the answer to the previous question.
  • What about videos?
    • If you are embedding a video from Youtube or Vimeo, etc., students can click on the title link in the video to view the video on the Youtube or Vimeo site, where the copyright and other information should be available.
    • For Canvas Studio or other videos you created, the copyright is implied and unnecessary to state explicitly. All resources you create or find are by default copyrighted.


Ways to cite sources in your online course:

  • Add a page that credits all sources used throughout the course.
  • Include links or references at the end of each module/unit/chapter.
  • Reference sources on overview page or near content.


  • Generating citations
  • Fair Use
    • Fair Use information from the HCC libraries
    • Fair use allows for select uses of copyrighted material without the copyright holder’s consent under certain conditions. The OER Handbook has a concise summary of the factors that go into determining if something can be used under fair use. ¬†From their site:
      • The nature of the work. That means whether or not it is being used for a non-commercial purpose. When something copyrighted is used in a non-commercial way, it is more likely to be considered fair use.
      • The nature of the copyrighted work. The more useful something is to the common good, the more likely it will be considered fair use. For example, a paragraph about fire safety tips is less protected than a popular song.
      • The amount of the work used. The less you use of a copyrighted material, the more likely it will be considered fair use. As an example, 30 seconds of a movie might be considered fair, while 30 minutes might not.
      • The effect of the use on the value of the work. The more the use diminishes the value of the original work, the less likely the use is to be ruled fair use. (U.S. Copyright Office, 2006)
    • See also:


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HCC Online Course High Quality Standards by Hillsborough Community College is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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