Preus Library
700 College Dr
Decorah, IA 52101

Summer Hours
Mon.-Fri.: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Sat.-Sun.: Closed
also Closed:
Memorial Day (5/27)
Juneteenth (6/19)
July 4

Full Hours

Phone: 563-387-1166

For Instructors

In today’s hyperlinked world, finding and accessing information for use in the classroom is easier than ever. With online tools like KATIE, it is nearly effortless to digitally republish and share material with students. Sharing information in digital form also heightens the importance of ensuring that use of that information is done so in compliance with copyright law.

As educators, sharing and building upon the intellectual property of others is at the core of our scholarship. It is increasingly important that we as educators both share our own creativity through scholarship as well as properly use the intellectual creativity of others. Respecting the copyright ownership of others ensures that others respect our own rights.

Luther College expects all faculty to ensure that all materials (physical and virtual) used in courses are done so in compliance with all federal copyright laws and statutes. According to the Luther Copyright Policy, responsibility for clearing copyright for materials in all formats rests with the course instructor.

Copyright in the Classroom

Specific provisions in US Copyright law enable greater use of copyrighted materials in the face-to-face and virtual classrooms. See our page on using Copyright in the Classroom for more information about making and distributing copies, displaying images, and playing films and sound recordings in the classroom.


Coursepacks are defined as collected anthologies of individually published material (usually journal articles and individual chapters from larger works) collected for use in a single course.  See this page for more information about creating and assigning Coursepacks.

Course Reserves

Items may be placed on physical reserve at the circulation desk in Preus Library. See the Course Reserves page for more information.

Film in Instruction

Want to use a film in your class? See these guidelines for the best way to meet your needs.

KATIE and Copyright

See the KATIE and Copyright page for more information about how copyright laws apply to materials shared electronically through a course management system.

Music and Performances

There are special copyright considerations for music and performances, either in the classroom, on campus, or online.

Syllabi Language

Luther recommends that faculty place a statement regarding copyright in course syllabi. Sample text is offered below:
Participation in this course affirms an intent to comply with all Luther College policies and United States Law regarding use of copyrighted materials. Some of the materials used in this course are possibly copyrighted. They are intended for use only by students registered and enrolled in this course and only for instructional activities associated with and for the duration of the course. They may not be retained in another medium or disseminated further. This may include handouts, lectures, notes, study guides, copied materials of third parties, or other items. More information regarding copyright, Luther College policies, and U.S. Copyright Law is available at
Sample text for courses that include student performance:
Participation in this course grants Luther College non-exclusive and perpetual rights to record, archive, and reproduce creative works and interpretations of participants for use and distribution by the College without additional written consent.

Copyright law grants important exemptions that are specifically designed for nonprofit higher educational institutions and libraries. Three provisions of the copyright statute are of particular importance to teachers and researchers:

  • Public display and performance of copyrighted works in the classroom or in an online teaching environment is covered under¬†Section 110 of US Copyright Law.
  • Special exemptions for the reproduction of copyrighted works by libraries and archives is covered under¬†Section 108 of US Copyright Law.
  • Fair Use of copyrighted materials for the purpose of analysis, criticism, commentary, parody, and teaching (including making multiple copies for classroom use) is covered by¬†Section 107 of US Copyright Law.

Online Instruction and the TEACH Act

In 2002 Congress passed the TEACH Act, which updated Section 110(2) of US Copyright Law to extend certain exemptions to the online teaching environment. The TEACH Act allows copyrighted material to be shared in an online environment, such as KATIE, if specific requirements are met.

Coursepacks (occasionally referred to as “Course Readers”) are defined as collected anthologies of individually published material (usually journal articles and individual chapters from larger works) collected for use in a single course. ¬†Traditionally coursepacks have been copied and made available through the¬†Book Shop¬†similar to monographs.¬† Before a coursepack can be created, copyright permission must be obtained and fees paid either through the copyright owner (usually the publisher) or a vendor, such as the Copyright Clearance Center. Each item in the packet must have copyright permission.¬† Copyright fees are paid through the coursepack purchase price.

Questions may be directed to the Director of the Luther Book Shop. If faculty wish to independently request copyright permissions, those may be made online using at Some basic guidelines for creating coursepacks and customized anthologies are as follows:

  • Every chapter and article in a coursepack, if taken from copyrighted material, requires permission from the copyright holder.
  • Each item in the coursepack must include a note of copyright.
  • Permission needs to be requested for each semester in which the coursepack is used.
    • A Copyright Clearance Declaration form must be filled and given to Book Shop staff for each item

Materials may be placed on electronic reserve (via KATIE) or physical Course Reserve at Preus Library for use by enrolled students in particular courses. Print reserve check-outs are limited to two hours.

In order to place materials on reserve, faculty members should:

  • Evaluate all materials individually to determine whether use of the item requires permissions from the copyright holder.¬† In most cases, use of the item is protected by¬†fair use¬†or the TEACH Act.
  • Limit the amount of material to be placed on reserve to just the portions required for the course.
  • Ensure that all materials carry and display the original copyright notice included with the material.

Preus Library staff may scan copyrighted print materials for placement on KATIE provided the faculty member affirms that doing so is legal under copyright law. In all cases, library scanning will not exceed the guidelines listed below:

  • One article from a issue of a journal or newspaper
  • One chapter from a book
  • An excerpt from a prose work, not to exceed 10 percent of the work
  • One chart, graph, diagram, drawing, cartoon, or picture per book or per journal issue

If your desired use exceeds the above guidelines, you may want to consider creating a Coursepack for your course with assistance from the Book Shop staff to obtain copyright permissions.

Contact the Preus Library Circulation Supervisor Eddy Atwell to arrange for print reserves.

If you wish to place non-print copyrighted works on KATIE, see KATIE and Copyright.

This document offers a variety of options for showing or assigning films for instruction. It is meant to be a suggestion, and not to limit possibilities for course resources. Faculty should make decisions about assigned materials first and foremost based on their professional judgment as educators about what is pedagogically sound and effective.

<strongKeep copyright in mind…
If streaming is your preferred option, please keep in mind that copyright laws and licensing agreements may limit what films can be streamed and through which means. Any films or clips deemed eligible to be hosted on KATIE must be limited only to students enrolled in the course and only available for the duration of the course.
Your Basic Options
(1) Show a film during class
It is legal to show a full length movie or portions of a movie during regular class time using a legally obtained copy (DVD) of the film. (See #7 below for information on live screenings outside of class time.)
(2) Stream video licensed by the Library
The Library offers streaming video services through:

  • Kanopy – On-demand streaming of documentary and feature films. Collection includes films across a variety of subject areas, including arts, sciences, and social sciences.

The Library will consider adding additional streaming licenses upon request, taking budget and license availability into account. Contact your department’s liaison in the library to make a request.

(3) Assign personal, commercial subscription options

Many popular feature films and documentaries are available for personal, individual streaming use on platforms like Netflix, Amazon, Filmstruck, iTunes, and Hulu. Monthly subscriptions are available for many of these services at a relatively low cost, and in some cases free trials are available. It may be that the most convenient option for your students is to subscribe to one or more of these services for the duration of the course, especially in courses where several films will be required viewing outside of class.
(4) Make clips of essential materials to stream on KATIE

Copyright laws govern the use of copyrighted materials for educational purposes as well as the technical means for legally making copies of films or other digital media. Section 1201 (a) (1) of the copyright law (and the current exemptions) allows the decryption of copy protection of motion picture media (such as DVD or Blu-ray) that are lawfully made and acquired, for the purposes of creating short clips for criticism and study purposes. Talk to us about your interests and needs; we will work to help you accomplish your educational objective within fair use guidelines. Please contact Ryan Gjerde ( for copyright questions or the Digital Media Center for help creating video clips.

(5)Select video that you have the appropriate rights or licenses to stream in full on KATIE

Films with the appropriate licensing may be streamed in full. This may include materials that you own the copyrights for, materials shared with a Create Commons license, or materials in the public domain. In general, this does not include Library- or instructor-owned DVDs. Please contact Ryan Gjerde ( regarding the licensing or rights of the media you wish to use for your course.
If you have created a film, consider adding a Creative Commons license so that you and others can use the film in courses. Creative Commons Licenses are explained on the Library’s copyright page on Alternative Publishing Models. We are happy to consult with you about selecting the most appropriate license for your works.
(6) Place DVD, VHS, or Blu-Rays on Library reserves
Instructors may request that materials are placed on reserve in the Library. Students can view DVDs on computers in the Library computer labs or in group study rooms. The Library circulation desk also loans external DVD drives to connect to laptops or computers. Students can view VHS or DVD in the Digital Media Center. Please contact Eddy Atwell ( to set up reserves for your course.
(7) Schedule a screening for your class
You can schedule screenings of a required film for your course outside your regular class time. Contact the Digital Media Center to schedule time in their screening room or set up another space on campus, such as Hovde Room, Valders 206, or Olin 102. Screenings of films as a part of your course curriculum should not be publicly advertised and should be limited to students enrolled in the course.
If you wish to screen a film for a wider audience or not for your course, see the Library’s copyright page on Public Performance.

Case by Case Evaluation
In some situations it may be legal to make a streaming copy of a legally acquired film. Each use must be considered individually, and there are several factors involved in considerations:

  • Generally the law explicitly permits clips and short portions for educational purposes.>
  • To make such copies, if one needs to circumvent digital rights management on a DVD, then the use must comply with the permitted limitation to a copyright holder‚Äôs rights in the law, which otherwise prohibits circumventing digital rights management.
  • The resulting use must be a legally permissible use. Consider whether the use will be consistent with fair use, the TEACH Act, or other exemptions commonly related to educational non-commercial needs.
  • If the quality of the reproduction is not critical AND a contemplated use is not eligible for the Section 1201 exemption to allow breaking of digital rights management, one option suggested by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) is to record the movie directly from a screen then use the resulting low-quality copy. This is not likely to provide educationally useful copies and is noted here as the kind of option posited by one industry organization (this is not an overt requirement of the law).
  • The only limitation under US Copyright Law that would permit making a full (rather than a portion) copy of a movie is fair use. The only limitation that explicitly addresses distance education possibilities (the TEACH Act) only allows providing a ‚Äėlimited and reasonable portion‚Äô of the work. It is unclear, though possible that in some situations it is reasonable to use the entire work, but to date this has not been clarified by Congress or a court.

More likely to be a fair use or be consistent with an educational limitation:

  • Faculty overlay written comments over the movie without circumventing the copy protection.
  • Faculty include translated subtitles of a work in a different language.
  • Faculty record an audio track of their comments that is played concurrently with the movie.
  • Provide clips. Students might be required to watch the film first for context then review the clips you select or comment on.
  • A movie is available only in a format not common in the U.S., such as a PAL/SECAM VHS videocassette or non-region one DVD.

To discuss your specific needs, please contact Ryan Gjerde ( or your department’s liaison in the library.
These guidelines have been adapted from the University of Michigan Libraries under a CC-BY license and adapted to meet the needs of Luther College.

Learning management systems such as Luther’s KATIE are terrific ways to share content with students. 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. If your materials are not covered by fair use,¬†coursepacks¬†may be 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 addition to hosting print content, KATIE is also capable of streaming video.  Please contact the Digital Media Center if you are interested in using this feature.

Music is also copyrighted material. Separate copyrights exist for musical performances, recordings, and sheet music. Additional copyrights may exist for the lyrics. Vendors usually sell sheet music in sets (e.g. band sets, chorus sets, etc.): hence, single copies may not be available, but can be ordered directly from the publisher.

Sheet Music

Fair use guidelines authorize limited copying and altering of sheet music. They also authorize recording student performances. What can be copied in accordance with the circumstances follows:

  • For a performance, emergency copying is permitted so long as replacement copies are subsequently purchased.
  • Academic purposes other than performance (single copies for personal or library reserve use). An entire performable unit (section, movement, aria, etc.) if the unit is out of print or only available in a larger work.
  • Multiple copies for classroom use (non-performance use), where excerpts may comprise no more than 10 percent of a whole work and may not constitute a performable unit.
  • For musical recordings, a single copy may be made for the purpose of constructing aural exercises or examinations. Otherwise the restrictions on the copying non-music recordings apply.

Music Performed Live

When music is performed live and on campus, the performance is subject to Luther’s¬†public performance¬†guidelines. This includes music played during sporting events.


Public display and performance of copyrighted works, such as recordings, in the classroom or in an online teaching environment is covered under Section 110 of US Copyright Law.

When pre-recorded music is played outside of the classroom there is not only a performance of the musical work but also the particular recording. Under copyright law, however, the owner of a copyright in a musical recording, as distinct from copyright owner of the underlying composition, does not have the exclusive right to perform the record publicly. Therefore, when pre-recorded music is performed, only the performance of the underlying composition need be analyzed under the statutory provisions governing performances to ensure compliance with the copyright law.

On the other hand, the owner of a copyright in a musical recording does have the exclusive right to reproduce the recording. Therefore, when pre-recorded music is copied, for example by making a tape of a song on a compact disc, the exclusive rights of both the owner of the copyright in the recording and the owner of the copyright in the composition may be infringed.


Preus Library
700 College Dr
Decorah, IA 52101

Summer Hours
Mon.-Fri.: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Sat.-Sun.: Closed
also Closed:
Memorial Day (5/27)
Juneteenth (6/19)
July 4

Full Hours

Phone: 563-387-1166