Copyright Guidance for Using Films in Online Teaching During the COVID-19 Pandemic
15 Pages Posted: 6 Aug 2020 Last revised: 2 Mar 2022
Date Written: August 4, 2020
This Guidance discusses copyright options for using feature films and other audiovisual content in online teaching. It responds to concerns amongst UK higher education institutions (HEIs) that moving education online as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic raises new copyright risks. At many HEIs, in-person lectures may not be possible in the coming academic year due to COVID-related social distancing requirements. Even if some face-to-face teaching is possible, many students will undertake some or all of their studies remotely. One particular concern has been ensuring that Film Studies departments can screen feature films to students online, this being an essential part of those programmes. But lecturers in other disciplines also use a variety of films in their teaching, making these copyright questions of broader relevance. HEIs are keen to know whether they may use audiovisual content in online teaching without a licence. The key take-home message from this Guidance is that there are a number of exceptions in the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (CDPA) on which HEIs may be able to rely. It focuses in particular on the fair dealing exception for illustration for instruction in s. 32 of the CDPA, and quotation in s. 30(1ZA).
NOTE: A new version of this guidance was released on SSRN in February 2022 - see E. Hudson, Updated Copyright Guidance for Using Films, Audiovisual Works and Images in Online Teaching: Beyond the Covid Pandemic.
Keywords: copyright; films; education; fair dealing; illustration for instruction; quotation; COVID-19; online teaching
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