As a faculty member, you need to be mindful of staying on the right side of copyright law when it comes to your pedagogy and how you disseminate learning materials to your students. A common misconception that educators have is that as long as they're operating under educational intentions, they are free to reproduce and distribute copyrighted material to their students. This is not the case,
Original “works of expression,” such as writings, graphics, photographs, and music, may be protected from unauthorized use by the federal copyright laws. The symbol © is often used to indicate that the material is subject to copyright restrictions, but not all copyrighted content will display the symbol. Copyright laws govern whether – and to what extent – you are permitted to perform, display, or copy such works or to create new works derived from them without first receiving permission from the holder of the copyright (often the author or publisher of the original). The copyright laws are complex, particularly as they apply to digital media. For example, under some circumstances downloading information from websites, downloading music from a peerto-peer application, or even mere copying and pasting of copyrighted materials (such as an article, photo, sound or video clip from the web) may constitute infringement. In fact, websites may even have materials copyrighted by one owner embedded within materials that have been copyrighted by a different person (such as music within a video excerpt, or a photo on a web page). Moreover, just because content is publicly available does not mean that you are free to use it without permission. Much of the information you may find posted on popular social media sites has been posted without the consent of the copyright holder, and using it could constitute infringement.
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“The first rule is you should never download an image, video, or sound file and then re-host it on your own website or post it to your social media platform yourself. But there are other ways to share that content with your users without infringing anyone’s rights.
Direct Links Are Your Best Bet…
When in doubt, use links (or “deep links”) to existing content – for example, a link to a YouTube video or an Instagram post that, when clicked, brings the user to that content. The best link is one to the original post or the creator’s channel. If you are not hosting or re-posting the material, you are not directly violating the copyright owner’s rights. Whether it’s a story on social media, the latest viral video, or a fun piece of music, respecting the creator’s rights can be worth sending a user away from your page or opening a new window.”