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Copyrighted Material in Canvas Faculty Guide

Guidance and information on the use of copyrighted materials in Canvas.

Copyrighted Material in Canvas Faculty Guide

Research is an ongoing conversation between scholars, learning from each other and building on the work of predecessors. However, the laws protecting the rights of copyright holders can get in the way of using this research in course planning.

Course materials uploaded to an online learning management system such as Canvas involve copyright laws but also in some cases the publisher's license, and "educational use" is not always enough to gain permission to use these materials.

The information in this guide can help you figure out the correct usage of course materials.


The Stevens copyright policy states that permission must be obtained from the copyright holder when using copyrighted materials in a course beyond what can be considered fair use, and notes that "Stevens is committed to the support of fair use principles."



Please email to consult with a librarian for guidance on the use of copyrighted course materials.


For all Canvas-related questions, please email to create a support ticket.


Posting an item to Canvas for educational purposes does not exempt an instructor from copyright regulations. The information presented here provides guidance but should not be considered legal advice. 

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Using Copyrighted Material in Canvas

  • Internet content (YouTube video, blog post, website). DO THIS: Link to the original website and include a citation, and you're done!
  • Open access (from an open journal, in an open repository, government report). DO THIS: Use the permalink or upload PDF and include a citation, and you're done!
  • Library databases* (article, ebook, conference paper). DO THIS: Find in the Library catalog, use the Share link and include a citation, and you're done! *Note: Harvard Business Review (HBR) case studies are only available through use of an HBR coursepack.
  • Everything else (not held by the Library, original source unknown, other questions). DO THIS: Get in touch with a librarian!

Image by Vicky Ludas Orlofsky (, 2021.