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Uploading Copyrighted Materials

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Lacuna and its designers are committed to respecting the rights of copyright holders and complying with copyright law. This information is to assist faculty, staff, and students in making informed decisions regarding appropriate use of copyrighted materials.

Ultimately, the institution or group that has installed Lacuna, as well as all of its users, are responsible for respecting the rights of copyright holders and complying with copyright law.

Below we provide some materials to help you better understand how to comply with copyright law when uploading materials in your course. You may also want to contact your intuition library or appropriate parties with any specific questions or issues.

For each material (document, video, or other media) you upload as instructor, you are asked to designate one of the following copyright statuses:

  • I hold the copyright (original content created by you)
  • I have obtained permission to use the file (authorized permission by the author)
  • The material is in the public domain (explicitly assigned to public domain, cannot be copyrighted, or is no longer protected by copyright)
  • The material is subject to fair use exception (excerpt or summary used for commentary, news reporting, research, or analysis in education)
  • The material is licensed under Creative Commons; this option also requires setting a specific Creative Commons license


The Digital Public Library of America has produced a video that helps instructors and content curators understand copyright and fair use. You may find this video helpful.

It covers:

  • how to identify content in the public domain
  • how to identify content under copyright and pursue permissions
  • orphan works
  • fair use
  • understanding risk
  • rights and access statements

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