Magna Online Seminars

How Recent Copyright Court Cases Affect Distance Education

What Educators Need to Know About Copyright

Distance learning is transforming academia. But have your digital classroom practices outgrown the limits of the law?

It’s understandable if you’re not sure. Copyright law is one of the few higher education issues that’s evolving as quickly as distance learning.

Learn how to bring your copyright policy into compliance with current case law in How Recent Copyright Court Cases Affect Distance Education, a Magna Online Seminar with presenter Linda Enghagen, J.D.

You’ll find out what the concept of transformative uses has to do with fair use in the educational setting and see how applying this concept can keep you on the right side of copyright law.

In this seminar, you’ll learn the answers to real-life questions, such as whether it’s legal to digitize books for students with disabilities and what it means to “repurpose” a copyright-protected work. Fortunately for educators, many common classroom practices are legal fair use under copyright law. Through review of best practices in fair use, including distribution of course material and assignment design, this seminar shows you how to establish and implement policies to assure copyright compliance.

Even more fortunately for you, Professor Enghagen shares her cutting-edge legal insights in terms you don’t need an attorney to understand. Enghagen, who has published widely on copyright law, is well known for her ability to explain legal concepts to nonlawyers. You won’t find a more comprehensive or accessible way to get the information you need in order to protect your program and avoid potential penalties.

Topics Covered

While you’ll come away with practical information you can employ right away, the most important benefits of the seminar are things you won’t see. Promoting inquiry and respecting intellectual property are essential in higher education, and no educator or scholar wants to violate copyright compliance—even accidentally. This Magna Online Seminar helps you cut through the confusion and legalese of copyright law, simplifying course design and preventing potential legal complications. 

After participating in How Recent Copyright Court Cases Affect Distance Education, you can be confident about distributing materials and assignments in your program’s distance courses. You will:

  • Develop a working understanding of the transformative use doctrine
  • Learn practical strategies for employing the transformative use doctrine in course design and delivery
  • Develop a working knowledge of best practices in fair use

This practical seminar delivers key takeaways you can put to work in your next course, including:

  • Tips on using best practices to develop course content that meets current copyright compliance standards
  • Insights on the common ground between transformative uses and fair use

Learn From an Expert

Linda Enghagen is an attorney and Professor in the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Her scholarly contributions related to intellectual property are directed to the needs of faculty members including two books, Technology and Higher Education: Approaching the 21st Century and Fair Use Guidelines for Educators.
An early entrant into distance education, her teaching career began in 1984 when she first taught Engineering Law & Ethics in the university’s video-based distance education program.  In 1990, she became the first woman awarded the Outstanding Instructor Award from National Technological University.  She is also the recipient of three outstanding teaching awards from the University of Massachusetts and taught intellectual property law to design engineers as part of GM’s technical education program.

Who Should Watch this CD 

Whether you’re new to the complexities of copyright or a seasoned practitioner, if your institution uses an online learning management system, you need to be up to date on the ins and outs of copyright compliance. Making sure your policies are in line with recent court decisions supports distance education in online and blended courses and reduces the risk of future complications. 

How Recent Copyright Court Cases Affect Distance Education is suitable for participants at all levels. Individuals in the following positions will find it particularly helpful:

  • Administrators working with the development and implementation of online programs
  • Instructional designers
  • Faculty
  • Librarians


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