Copyright and KATIE

Learning management systems such as Luther's KATIE are terrific ways to share content with students. And though it may be easy to use tools such as this to distribute information, doing so falls under the exact same copyright laws and regulations as distributing physical copies. Generally, items must still be cleared through copyright to be used in these media. Fair Use also applies in the exact same way it does for physical use of media.

Many faculty look to electronic course reserves or learning management systems to replace coursepacks, citing their ease of use and digital delivery. Using them in this way is legal provided that all copyright is cleared just like coursepacks. When providing these materials through a system like KATIE, it is the faculty member's responsibility to clear these copyrights, and submit any copyright fees. It is for this reason, Luther recommends coursepacks as a convenient way to ensure students pay for copyright licensing fees associated with their studies.

One advantage of online tools such as KATIE, is it makes possible direct links to licensed library resources. For materials available via licensed library resources, no copyright fees are required. Therefore, this is the best way to provide easy, no-cost access to content directly from a KATIE site. Please note this applies to linking, where no copy of the material is made and distributed. If you have questions about linking to library resources, please visit the Reference Desk, or contact your library liaison.


In 2001, Congress passed the TEACH Act which grants rights under certain circumstances for accredited institutions to transmit performances and displays of copyrighted works. This is the law the allows instruction via online networks to include distribution of copyrighted content. It does not permit use of any content under any conditions however. Please see the site below for more detailed information on the TEACH Act:

Below is a checklist to use to determine whether your use of material may be permissible under the provisions of the TEACH Act:

The LIS Technology Help Desk can assist faculty in preparing materials for online distribution provided the materials are permissible under Fair Use or the TEACH Act. Generally, materials must be submitted in advance and faculty will be required to affirm that the materials they are posting have been legally obtained and are being legally used. More information on this service is available.