[Athen] Copyright law woes

kerscher at montana.com kerscher at montana.com
Sat Jun 13 07:22:50 PDT 2020

Dear Debee,

I am not a lawyer and do not give copyright advice. However, whatever gave
the professor the right to grab a few pages from a title, I would guess the
fair use doctrine, would also give the right to copy and paste the same
amount from a digital version, IMO (non-legal).

You could certainly send a link to the professor of the digital version and
have him or her grab it from that version, and of course, the professor must
have the legal right to the digital version either by purchasing it or
getting it from the library.

Agree this is a real pain and it would be far better to work from the
digital version of content for these purposes.



From: athen-list <athen-list-bounces at mailman12.u.washington.edu> On Behalf
Of Deborah Armstrong
Sent: Friday, June 12, 2020 5:08 PM
To: Access Technology Higher Education Network <athen-list at u.washington.edu>
Subject: [Athen] Copyright law woes

So here's a typical scenario: instructor posts a reading assignment on
Canvas today that's due by middle of next week. The instructor grabbed a
literature anthology off her shelf at home, scanned a few pages and posted a

There's no time for the poor student to get me the material to convert to an
alternate format. I just got a panicked email from a student in just such a
situation.I told her to have the instructor either email me the scan or
email me the source information.

The adjunct faculty is especially bad at this; instead of having all their
materials ready at the start of the quarter they randomly post things on
canvas as the due dates come up.

Now if it wasn't for copyright law, I'd simply send the ebook of the entire
Norton anthology of literature to the offending instructor, tell them to
lift the relevant readings from the ebook and post their own accessible

But copyright law actually prevents me from doing this.

And most instructors don't have the book so they either have to type it in
by hand or post a picture of a page.

We can scream as much as we like about accessible content but no instructor
wants to spend the extra hours typing things in.

And it is impossible it seems to get them to stick to just one textbook and
assign all their readings from there.

I wish we could either force them to stick with one book instead of pulling
readings from hither and yon or force legal entities to disregard copyright!

We have all this training on how to create accessible content but the
elephant in the room is that they ***DON'T*** create their own content. They
pull it from everywhere!


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