Add Usage Rights and Publish Uploaded Files

Canvas users are prompted to add usage rights to files they upload. Instructors can select and upload multiple files at once and bulk set usage rights. Until usage rights are set, students are unable to view the files.

Add usage rights and publish files

When uploading files to Canvas Files, files will be unpublished (Screen_Shot_2020-08-31_at_4.43.27_PM.png) by default and students cannot access them.

  • To publish files, add a usage right designation one-by-one or in bulk.
    • Single file: Click the exclamation pointScreen_Shot_2020-08-31_at_4.44.47_PM.pngicon 
    • Multiple files: Command or control and click on multiple rows to select the file (avoid clicking on the file name as that will open up a preview). To select all files and folders on the screen, hold down command or control + A on your keyboard.
      • A toolbar will appear at the top of the page. Click the copyright buttonScreen_Shot_2020-08-31_at_4.45.38_PM.png. (NOTE: you may see a yellow alert “Items selected have different usage rights”. You can ignore this.)
  • Choose a usage rights option. Usage rights are visible to students and is an indication as to what needs to stay private to the class or can be shared freely.
  • Add a copyright holder or Creative Commons license: Citations are not required by Canvas, but may be required by the rights holder as part of your license. If you are using material with a Creative Commons license, you will need to specify which type.
  • Publish when you are ready: You can publish your file while tagging usage rights by selecting the Publish (Screen_Shot_2020-08-31_at_4.47.43_PM.png) radio button.
    • Bulk publish by selecting all (control or command + A), select the Manage Access button (Screen_Shot_2020-08-31_at_4.48.49_PM.png), and select Publish.

Five Usage Rights

Doesn’t fair use cover all materials I upload to my Canvas site?

No, educational use, password protection, limitation to enrolled students, and citation do not alone guarantee that uploading material to Canvas would be considered fair.

To learn more about what is expected of you, visit the Stanford Copyright Reminder, which includes common copyright situations, the most relevant being online course readers, and an explanation of the principle of fair use. In general, it’s worth exploring other options rather than relying on fair use.

What do I do if I can’t rely on fair use?