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Copyright: Blackboard,
Course Guides & Linking


Blackboard is a password-protected site. Faculty may post materials to Blackboard or link to E-Reserves or to materials within licensed databases, or to publisher-provided sites approved for use by the University. It is always best to link to a copyrighted or licensed item rather than to copy it. See Integrating Library Content into Blackboard 9 for linking instructions for items in our licensed electronic resources.

The TEACH Act or Fair Use apply to the use of copyrighted material in Blackboard.

Is scanning or digitizing my readings considered making a copy? 

Yes. If you need to consider making digital copies of yoru readings, consider using and linking to ERes.

What is required when posting class readings?

  • Be sure posted copies carry a complete citation and a copyright notice ("This material may be protected by copyright law (Title 17 U.S. Code)")
  • Copy only the minimum portion of the work necessary for the intended use.
  • Limit access to the Blackboard site or to the e-Res site to students enrolled in the class. The eRes site must be password protected.

What about using images, music, audio or video recordings in Blackboard?

The use of these media in Blackboard involves the issues of performance and display in digital transmissions. Faculty may refer to either the  TEACH Act tab  or the Fair Use tab for guidance.  In most cases, Fair Use would not grant more freedoms than the Teach Act. (Kevin Smith)

The best way to transmit media in Blackboard in order to be in compliance with the TEACH Act is with the use of streaming. Blackboard provides mashup tools to facilitate the use of YouTube, Slideshare, and Flickr materials. Contact ET@MO for help with integrating audio and video materials in Blackboard.

Other suggested methods for protecting copyrighted images and recordings or performances include the use of low resolution images, thumbnails, digital watermarks, disabling the right click copy function, overlaying the image with a transparent GIF, using the image as a background in a table, or using digital rights management. For details see "Tips and Techniques to Protect Images on the Internet."

When considering the use of media in online teaching, technological protection measures or digital rights management may come into play. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act carries strict prohibitions against overriding TPMs and DRM, with some specific exceptions. See the DMCA tab for more information. 

Can I load readings into Blackboard that I used to put on E-Reserves?

Yes, but uploading copyrighted readings into Blackboard does not change the necessity of running a Fair Use analysis, employing the TEACH Act or of seeking permissions when necessary.





Mizzou Publishing can arrange to have coursepacks made for your class readings. They can arrange for permissions and any royalty fees will be recovered when the student purchases the coursepack, relieving faculty from this responsibility. If you are attempting to limit the cost of a coursepack for students, Mizzou Media personnel can tell you the approximate cost. You can also check the Copyright Clearance Center website for permission fees yourself.

Note that the average copyright permission takes 4 to 6 weeks to secure!

If you wish to use a publisher's coursepack as part of Blackboard course content, contact ET@MO in advance.

Create Links to Electronic Resources


Nothing on this guide is to be construed as legal advice. These pages are intended to provide information and guidance in the application of copyright law and to expand on the University of Missouri System Collected Rules and Regulations.

Thanks to Miller Nichols Library of UMKC for permission to reuse material from their Copyright guide.