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Copyright and Canvas

This basic guide explains what you need to do to ensure that the materials you place on Canvas do not contravene UK copyright legislation or licensing restrictions.

Material can be added to Canvas if:

  • copyright belongs to you
  • copyright has expired
  • permission has been received directly from the copyright owner
  • the copyright holder has published their work under a
  • fair dealing or educational instruction exceptions apply under the

For example, the ‘educational use’ exception may be appropriate for your teaching materials in Canvas.

Some examples of copyrighted and ‘copyright free’ material for use in Canvas:

Using eBooks and journals

If the Library Service holds an electronic copy of the material (e.g. an eBook or eJournal article) you should provide a link to the item in your teaching materials on Canvas.

You can check availability here:

Using printed books and journals: scanning

Cranfield University holds a Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) Higher Education Licence. This Licence permits University staff to make scans of limited extracts from published sources where an electronic version is not available, and to make them available to registered students on Canvas.

If the University does not have electronic access to a specific resource, you may scan from a print copy, subject to the term of the CLA Licence.

Please note:

Course materials selected for Canvas must not inadvertently create a collection of items which cover substantially the same material as a standard textbook for a given course. This could happen when individual extracts on a particular topic from a number of different books are gathered together as course readings which, when taken together, form a “virtual textbook”. This form of textbook substitution is not considered best practice under the terms of the CLA licence.

Using images from the internet

These are subject to copyright, and as such, for any usage which goes beyond the limits of fair dealing or for a copyright exception, you need to obtain permission from the rightsholder before using them in your teaching materials on Canvas.

Some websites will include a statement of permitted use, or the images may have been made available under a

or other similar sharing and re-use licence. If you intend to take advantage of such licences, please ensure you are familiar with the terms and conditions, including the requirement to include an attribution of both source and ownership of the image.

As with printed material from the internet, the safest way is to provide a link and always acknowledge the source.

Copyright free images

There are a number of “copyright free” image databases. These contain images that have been produced under a Creative Commons Licence.

Always check through the usage restrictions on each image you wish to use as these may vary, even amongst images you have found from the same source.

You will need to exercise caution with image sharing sites e.g. Flickr and Wikimedia Commons, as users may upload images to which they do not own the rights.

Examples include:

The search provided on the Creative Commons website allows you to search for content across other platforms including: