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Digital Media Copyright Guidelines for Faculty & Staff

The Copyright Law of the United States (1976), as amended and supplemented by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (1998) and the Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization (TEACH) Act (2002), contains provisions that both allow and limit the use of digital media for instruction. Inserting digital media into instruction typically requires that the piece is copied at least partially, and that activity is subject to copyright regulations. The staff of the Wayne State University Library System and the Technology Resource Center welcomes the opportunity to assist faculty as they use media in instruction. We follow the guidelines listed below when using media for instruction at Wayne State University, and provide this information as part of our requirements under applicable law.

  • Performance or display of a work in a face-to-face instructional setting in a non-profit educational institution is allowed as long as the piece being shown is an authorized copy that was purchased. The Library collection is an excellent source for media.
  • Performance of a work through a password protected online learning system (Blackboard) as part of the instructional program of a non-profit educational institution is allowed as long as the conditions listed below are met. At WSU, Blackboard is the access point for these materials.
    • A reasonable and limited portion of the work is copied or streamed
    • Performance of the work is under the supervision of an instructor
    • Performance is a integral part of a class session offered as a regular part of systematic mediated activities of an accredited non-profit educational institution
    • The material is directly related to the content of the course and is an authorized copy that was purchased or otherwise made legally
    • Transmission is made available only to students who are enrolled in a course and to faculty and staff who are working on the transmission as part of their work duties
    • The Technology Resource Center staff is required to apply technological measures that prevent use of the work past the intended session as well as unauthorized further dissemination. This may require that recordings are removed from Blackboard when the materials will not be in use by a class.
    • Works should not be transmitted except as described in these guidelines.
    • Copyrighted works should not be copied for distribution.
    • A non-digital work should not be digitized if there is a digital version reasonably available for purchase.
    • Encryption or other technological protections may not be circumvented. (Note: a recent change in the law allows limited rights to override encryption of copyrighted works for certain instructional purposes related to portions of motion pictures on lawfully acquired DVDs, provided all other requirements are met).

Faculty Resource Contacts for Instructional Media

  • The University Library System owns an extensive collection of film, video and audio recordings. These are available for use instructional media use in classrooms and in online learning environments. Please check the online catalog at
  • Liaison Librarians are assigned to each department and are available to assist faculty as instructional media selections are being made. Contact the Liaison assigned to your department at
  • The Teaching Commons provides assistance with streaming media which meets the guidelines. Please call 313-577-1980 for assistance.
  • Questions and consultation related to posting documents and print media can be referred to Michael Priehs