Copyright & Fair Use Basics

Fair Use & Emergency Remote Teaching

Copyright experts in the United States are providing updated guidance for applying fair use in our emergency remote teaching situation. 

If you need to quickly make copyrighted material available online for your students, conduct a fair use analysis to ensure that you are not violating the author's copyright. Follow these guidelines to mitigate any copyright risk:

  • Only make available the amount that is needed for your immediate educational purpose
  • Do not post the content on the open web; make it available only through Blackboard
  • Remove the content as soon as it is no longer needed

"While legal obligations do not automatically dissolve in the face of a public health crisis, U.S. copyright law is, thankfully, well equipped to provide the flexibility necessary for the vast majority of remote learning needed at this time...It is evident that making materials available and accessible to students in this time of crisis will almost always be a fair use." -Public Statement of Library Copyright Specialists: Fair Use & Emergency Remote Teaching and Research 

Course Reserves During the Pandemic

For the health and safety of the university community, we are unable to circulate print course reserves during the Fall 2020 semester.

Students: When available, we will purchase e-textbooks for reserves. Students should use Get it for Me to request access to necessary reading materials. Due to copyright law, we are unable to scan an entire textbook.

Faculty: All faculty are encouraged to submit requests using the Course Reserves request form.

UTSA Librarians can assist faculty in locating comparable Open Educational Resources. We can also identify potential ebook matches for current courses in the library's ebook collections. We strongly recommend our faculty work with subject librarians to provide necessary reading materials to our students.

Copyright Questions

The library is here to help students, faculty and staff with copyright questions during this uncertain time. Send an email to copyright@utsa.edu or contact your subject librarian with copyright questions.