Intellectual Property for Teaching and Learning

In 2009, the University Academic Policy Committee updated Rider's Copyright Policy. The full text of that policy can be found on p. 23 of the current Academic Policy Manual. The policy begins with the following statement of general principle:

Rider University respects and values copyright law and Rider University students, faculty, and
staff should understand and fully exercise their fair use right to copyrighted material.

The policy goes on to state the four factors to consider when attempting to determine if a given use of copyrighted material is fair, and then it directs the reader to this page as a resource for helping students, faculty, and staff make those determinations.

Scholars interested in preserving and promoting fair use have composed codes of best practices for specific communities of users. The links below will take you to six recently developed codes of best practices.

  • Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Online Video - The second in a series of "Best Practices" statements from a specific community of practice, online video producers. Addressing the needs of a group perhaps larger and more general than documentary filmmakers, but not quite as large or general as media literacy educators, this code represents a middle stage between the particular and the general.
  • Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education - Perhaps the most general in the series of "Best Practice" statements from a specific community of practice, media literacy educators. Addressing the needs of the largest and most general community of practice served so far, this code is likely to have a larger impact upon a greater number of educators and students than any of the other similar statements that preceded it.
  • Documentary Filmmakers' Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use -  The first in a series of "Best Practices" statements produced by the Center for Social Media, it is also the one designed to serve the most specific use community, a community perhaps more put upon than any other by the new climate of increased propertization of culture.
  • The Society for Cinema and Media Studies has published a general “Statement on Fair Use” as well as specific policy statement on “Best Practices for Media Studies Publishing,” “Best Practices for Fair Use in Teaching,” and “Fair Usage Publication of Film Stills.” All of these policy statements can be found here.
  • Statement of Best Practices for Fair Use in Dance-Related Materials - "This Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use clarifies what librarians, archivists, curators, and others working with dance-related materials currently regard as a reasonable application of the Copyright Act's fair use doctrine, where the use of copyrighted materials is essential to significant cultural missions and institutional goals."
  • Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Scholarly Research in Communication - This "code of best practices . . . helps U.S. communication scholars to interpret the copyright doctrine of fair use. . . . This guide identifies four situations that represent the current consensus within the community of communication scholars about acceptable practices for the fair use of copyrighted materials."

In 2002, Congress passed the TEACH Act which, according to the American Library Association, “redefines the terms and conditions on which accredited, nonprofit educational institutions throughout the U.S. may use copyright protected materials in distance education-including on websites and by other digital means--without permission from the copyright owner and without payment of royalties.” (

While the TEACH Act explicitly allows a wide variety of works to be uploaded to Learning Management Systems "in an amount comparable to that which is typically displayed in the course of a live classroom session,” there are two categories of works that are explicitly excluded:
The following materials may not be used:

  • Works that are marketed "primarily for performance or display as part of mediated instructional activities transmitted via digital networks"; and
  • Performances or displays given by means of copies "not lawfully made and acquired" under the U.S. Copyright Act, if the educational institution "knew or had reason to believe" that they were not lawfully made and acquired. (

For example, no media of any sort (print, audio, or video) should be uploaded from “pirated” copies of the material. Nor should anyone be scanning and uploading substantial portions of textbooks or other instructional materials that are intended for each student to purchase.

The presentations listed below were generated in a series of workshops on Intellectual Property for Teaching and Learning. They briefly introduce the topics of copyright and fair use. The first has been revised in consideration of the 2009 update to the University's Copyright Policy.

Intellectual Property for Teaching and Learning (ppt)

Intellectual Property Law (ppt)