In October 2015 the Librarian of Congress issued an important new rule permitting faculty and staff creating MOOCs (massive open online courses) to copy short clips from video media protected by digital locks. The rule was the result of a petition brought by clinic students Mark Patrick and Sarah O’Connor on behalf of Peter Decherney, Professor of Cinema Studies and English at the University of Pennsylvania, the College Art Association (CAA), the International Communication Association (ICA), and the Society for Cinema and Media Studies (SCMS). The rule may be the first official acknowledgment that MOOC courses are appropriate venues for the fair use of copyrighted media, including video content.
To help MOOC faculty and staff understand and apply the new rule, Peter Decherney and I have prepared a short FAQ. We hope to update it from time to time as people begin to implement the rule and face new questions or concerns. Accordingly, please do let us know if you have questions about the document or the rule.