When you find a worthwhile reading or video for your course, you have several options on how to make this material available to your students. Among these are:
Issues to consider:
When deciding on how to make course material available to students, issues include not only which option would be more convenient for you and your students but also which option falls within Fair Use copyright guidelines. Providing persistent URLs to articles, books or videos is a one-stop shopping option that allows the owner of the Web site or database vendor to handle the copyright issues.
What are persistent URLs?
Persistent URLs (PURL - Persistent Uniform Resource Locators) are also known by terms such as:
These are web addresses that remain consistent and seldom change over time. For example, the Reynolds Libraries home page can always be reliably reached at http://library.reynolds.edu. However, a link to an article in one of the library’s databases could change each time you try to access it (unless you know how to reconfigure it), because databases often create temporary session links at the moment you access them.
What are the advantages of using persistent URLs?
How long will persistent URLs stay active?
A persistent URL will remain active as long as Reynolds Libraries or our library consortiums (e.g., VCCS, VIVA) continue to subscribe to the given database. In other cases, a database vendor may reorganize its database collections, change their domain name or lose licensing rights to specific journal, book or video titles. It is advisable to check links occasionally to make sure they are still active.
Why should I use persistent links when I can simply copy an article into my Blackboard course?
Example of abiding by fair use law:
Examples of breaking fair use law:
If you are invited to a musician friend's house to listen to a song she has written, then all the security concerns are your friend's. There is no way that you could be responsible for the distribution of unauthorized copies of the song, on purpose or by accident.
The above examples of breaking fair use law can be compared to downloading versus linking. If you link to the article, it is like going to the database's house to view the article. If someone hacks into the database's server and steals an article, book or video, it is not your fault. By linking into the database you are taking the necessary security measures to ensure that only authorized users can access this copyrighted material.