My school wants to post all of the materials I use online. Is there any problem with doing so?

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The question to ask is, “Who owns the copyright?” If you own the copyright to all of the works in question, then there is nothing stopping you from giving permission to your school to post all of your materials online. However, many teachers use materials that are copyrighted by someone else, often under the auspices of fair use. In this case, you do not have the right to re-publish those materials, such as you would be doing by putting them online, without getting permission from the copyright holder(s).

There are some possible exceptions to this constraint. For example, it may be possible to post materials under strict constraint for them to be used only for educational purposes, thus simply broadening the pool of users that can exercise their constitutional rights of fair use. But this premise has not really been tested, and we do not know how it will be interpreted by the rights-holders or the courts.

Prior experience among several OER projects suggests that many rights holders are willing to re-license their works using CC licenses in order to gain the advantages for learning and exposure that openness brings. In particular, the CC BY-NC (and CC BY-NC-SA) licenses are popular choices for this purpose.

We encourage you to discuss these issues with your administration and to contact us with further questions or concerns.

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