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Copyright Reminder

Copyright and Privacy for Distance Learning

IP ownership and posting of recorded sessions

Courses taught and courseware developed for teaching at Stanford belong to Stanford. Any courses which are videotaped or recorded are Stanford property, and may not be further distributed without permission from the cognizant academic dean (or, in the case of SLAC, by the director), except for recordings that are made available via Canvass on your Stanford course site to enable distant learning for your Stanford class.

Copyright clearance and the Teach Act for online courses

The TEACH Act (Technology, Education, and Copyright Harmonization Act of 2002extends the Face-to-Face Teaching copyright exemption to distance learning courses.  The exemption applies only to online courses restricted to registered students, and is therefore applicable for Stanford online courses that we offer via Canvas.  This exemption does not apply to Youtube, iTunes U or to MOOCs, which are open to students outside of Stanford.   Please see for more details about TEACH ACT. 

  • It is easier to satisfy the “technical restraints” described in the TEACH Act if you use Canvas to deliver your courses since Canvas has built-in functionalities that enable compliance with the TEACH Act’s technical requirements.
  • For this and other compliance reasons (e.g., student privacy) associated with public posting of recorded lectures, instructors should not post recorded lectures on any site other than their Stanford Canvas course site.

Copyright issues for course readers and other materials that students can use outside the class

Please keep in mind that TEACH Act does not apply to course readers or other materials distributed to the students that the students can keep and use outside of their virtual classroom (e.g. pdf files, movie files that they can download and keep, etc.) 

Do I need to obtain consent from students since their image/voice may be streamed and/or recorded in class?

If the streaming and viewing of the recorded sessions are limited to in-class use (e.g. when the recording is made available via Canvas and the access is limited to students in your class), you do not need to obtain a separate written consent from the students.  Please let the students know that the course will be recorded and made available to their classmates.

If you have plans to post the content outside of your class (e.g. turn this into a MOOC, make the recording available on youtube), you will need to obtain consent from the students.  Please also keep in mind that TEACH Act will no longer apply once you make the content available outside the classroom.  Accordingly, in addition to consent from students, you’ll need to do copyright clearance for materials used in such recordings.