AUAS Library

Copyright control on educational materials in Brightspace

30 Oct 2023 13:37 | HvA Library

Since the summer, there has been a copyright check on educational materials in Brightspace to ensure compliance with copyright guidelines in education. This includes an examination of both external publications and materials compiled by AUAS instructors. In over 25% of the uploaded files, the copyright rules are exceeded.

In Brightspace, instructors make presentations, assignments, journal articles, and books available to students. Copyright regulations apply when uploading these materials in a course. According to copyright law, permission must be obtained from the copyright holder, and a fee must be paid for the publication of such materials.

Through the Easy Access Agreement, a collective agreement between the Association of Universities of Applied Sciences and publishers, instructors have broader options for sharing publications and using images for educational purposes without the need to seek prior permission. However, certain conditions do apply:

  • External publications such as articles and chapters: no more than 50 pages or 25% of the entire work.
  • Images: no more than 50 within a presentation or document, and no more than 25 from a single work and 10 from a single creator.
  • Always cite the source, not only when using content from books and journals but also when using images.

Universities of Applied Sciences compile an annual report on breaches of the agreement. This encompasses not only written publications, but also visual materials.

Of the more than 70,000 out of over 100,000 files assessed in Brightspace, around 1,000 (external) publications fall outside the terms of the collective agreement. Programme coordinators have been informed about this. Currently, the faculties are investigating whether prior permission had been obtained for these publications within the programs.

Educational materials created by AUAS instructors were also subject to the examination. A notable finding is that nearly 25,000 uploaded files contain images with inadequate source referencing. This includes 1,100 PowerPoint presentations that exceed the limit of 50 permitted images per presentation.

The aim of the review is to reduce infringements, including through educating instructors. The annual report serves as a moment to explore whether permission can still be obtained for the work that was used and/or what a reasonable compensation for it might be. Another solution is to replace uploads with a link to the publication online wherever possible.

Are you a teacher and do you want to know how to share educational materials in Brightspace without violating copyright rules?