DFA Responses/Statements

Copyright & On-line Teaching

Dear Colleagues,

The DFA office has received many enquiries about issues related to copyright, particularly in the context of on-line teaching. I thought it would be helpful to summarize the key points, and recommendations, that arise from our Collective Agreement. For reference, Article 23 addresses issues related to Copyrights, Patents and Author's Rights

  1. DFA Members own the copyright for teaching materials that they create, including lectures (Clauses 23.01, 23.02, 23.03 and 23.04) subject to some narrow limitations.
  2. As the author of your teaching materials, including lectures and on line presentations, you can authorize others to use your copyrighted materials without giving up your ownership rights. The DFA recommends that when sharing your copyrighted materials, you should specify the terms of use in writing. Materials shared with others should be marked as copyrighted where feasible. This can be of particular importance in co-taught courses.
  3. Members who prepare lectures, tests and exams and other materials which are communicated in digital form should put a notice on all such material to the following effect: This lecture and any other materials provided for this course are subject to the copyright of the course instructor and may not be reproduced or copied in whole or in part without the consent of the instructor. Students who are enrolled in the course who have received this lecture or any other material may reproduce it in order to view it at a more convenient time but must destroy the reproduction within 30 days of receiving the final course evaluation.
  4. Under clause 23.06(b) the Board has a time-limited right to use certain kinds of teaching materials developed by Members under specific circumstances. Such arrangements require written agreement of the Member, and the Member retains copyright ownership over the materials. Annual workload agreements which describe a Member’s teaching responsibilities do not transfer licencing rights to the Board. However, given the ease of copying digital materials prepared for teaching courses on-line you should make it clear that the materials you have authored cannot be used by others without your specific consent. We encourage Members to consult with the DFA office before signing a workload agreement that includes the development of teaching materials.
  5. Article 23.03 compels the Board to provide every reasonable assistance to Members to prevent publication, recording, or broadcasting of lectures not authorized by the Members concerned. The DFA encourages Members to bring such concerns to the attention of their Dean. Through the Association Board Committee, the Board has committed to enabling a "pop-up" message in Brightspace alerting students that teaching materials are copyrighted.

As always, please reach out to the DFA Office for support (dfa@dal.ca) if you have concerns about your working conditions.

Sincerely,

Dave Westwood, DFA President 2020-2021

 

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