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Copyright Center

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Test Your Knowledge with the Copyright Quiz!

A faculty member would like his students to read an article from a peer-reviewed journal that he has found within the Library’s electronic databases.  He downloads the PDF version of the article onto his computer and posts it into his course on Blackboard.  Is this permissible? 

Faculty, staff, and even students are faced with situations raising copyright concerns every day, and this scenario is a common one.  How well do you think you understand copyright law?  This feature presents various scenarios, some in which you may have asked yourself and others that you may not have ever even thought about.  The purpose of the copyright quiz is to test your knowledge and educate you about different situations that you may be faced with at some point in time.  With this being said, you may be waiting in great anticipation to learn the answer to the above question:  Is this permissible?  Most license agreements of electronic databases do not allow copying of PDF files and then reposting them onto a course content management system.  However, they do allow the posting of direct links to the article within the database, which is why many times the direct link, or permalink, is available.  This also ensures royalties to be made to the copyright holder every time the article is accessed.

Copyright Quiz

Quiz Answers



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1.     A student downloaded some photos from Flickr’s Creative Commons collection and posted them in a video project.  The student followed the specific rules of the photographer’s Creative Commons license.  Is this permissible?

YES – The student can legally use the photos since he followed the Creative Common’s license.


2.     An instructor created an election video to post on his YouTube channel for his political science course.  The instructor incorporated three official photos that were taken by government employees into the video.  Is this a violation of copyright? 

NO – Works produced by the U.S. government or any U.S. government agency are in the public domain.


3.     A student purchases the Adobe Photoshop computer software and installs it onto her personal computer.   She then gives it to her friend to download onto her new laptop.  Is this OK since the student gave her friend permission to download it? 

NO – Installing borrowed software puts a copy of that software on your hard drive – which is an illegal copy, unless the user’s license from the copyright holder gives permission to install the software on multiple users’ computers.


4.     If a student wants her original work to be protected by copyright law, she must register it with the U.S. Copyright Office.  Is this correct?

NO – Once something is written in a tangible format, the work is copyrighted.  By registering a work with The U.S. Copyright Office, it allows the creator to pursue actual and punitive damages in an infringement case.


5.     A student finds his favorite band’s music on a peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing network that offers free music downloads.  The student decides to download the music files at no cost rather than purchasing the CD.  Is this copyright infringement?

YES – The student needs to get permission from the copyright owner before downloading the music.


6.     Which of the following IS NOT a copyright infringement?

a.    A faculty member not getting permission to link to a YouTube video for an online class.

b.    A faculty member digitizing and posting a film (not in the Public Domain) on Blackboard.

c.    A faculty member compiling short movie clips from VHS tapes to place on Blackboard.


7.     A student scans a chapter from a book and prints the pages at the printer for free rather than printing the pages on the photocopier which would charge per copy.  Is this permissible since the patron is a student? 

NO – When using the photocopier, the student is paying for individual rights to use the material and to assume copyright liability.  However, when scanning a document from a book, the format is being changed from print to an electronic source meaning that the format of the copyrighted material is being altered and permission must be obtained.


8.     An instructor posts a single article onto Blackboard to be used for a class offered multiple times throughout the year.  Is this a violation of copyright? 

YES – The instructor can post the article one time under Fair Use, but cannot post the article repeatedly without obtaining permission.


9.     A faculty member located an article on the Internet.  Since there is no copyright symbol on the article, the instructor downloads and posts the article into the online course.  Is this permissible since it does not appear to be copyrighted? 

NO – Just because there is no copyright symbol, it does not mean that the work is not copyrighted.  In fact, once something is in a tangible format, the work is copyrighted.


10.  A faculty member would like to post copyrighted material to his online course.  He does not know what the first step should be in this process.   What should he do first?

a.    Ask his College Dean for approval to use the material.

b.    Post the material.

c.    Contact Bellevue University Library’s Copyright Center to assist.




Billingsley, Marty. (1999-2000). Copyright Issues Quiz.  Retrieved from

B4UCopy Quiz. (2007).  Business Software Alliance.  Retrieved from

Davidson, Hall. (2000). Technology and Learning’s Copyright Primer Fair Use Copyright Quiz.  Retrieved from

Gavilan Library’s Copyright Quiz. (n.d.).  Retrieved from

Teaching Copyright Quiz. (n.d.). Electronic Frontier Foundation.  Retrieved from