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Community Member

Usage Rights loophole

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Has anyone else experienced a loophole with the Usage Rights?

I have set the usage rights as required for my course. When I go to upload a file (for example a jpg), I see the notification about setting the usage rights and I am unable to set the file as published. However, I am also able to ignore the usage rights and not set anything. Then, if I go and create a new content page, I am able to use the rich content editor to add the jpg to the content page and publish the page without ever having set the usage rights on the jpg.

In a second test, I was able to replicate this process with a pdf. I uploaded it but did not set any usage rights. Then I created a new content page and was able to use the content selector to add the pdf to the page. I published the page without having set usage rights on the pdf. 

Has anyone else experienced this? If so, do you know of a way to close the loophole?

Thanks!

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Learner II

Hi, crogers@cognella.com​.  I think I understand your question, but I'm going to rephrase it a little.  Essentially with "usage rights" enabled on your course, you are unable to publish files until you set usage rights on them.  The way I am interpreting your question (please correct me if I am wrong), is​ why can I use files that are unpublished in the rich-content-editor?  For example, if I upload an image file to the Files area but do not publish it, I can still use that image as the instructor when creating pages or really almost anywhere that the rich-content-editor is available.  This is true regardless of whether or not you use the "usage rights" option as that option just controls whether the items in Files can be published or not. (ref. How do I set usage rights and user access for a course file? )

I certainly cannot speak to the design aspect of *why* Instructure made it this way, but it has been this way for as long as I've been using Canvas (or at least as far back as I can remember).  If I were wearing the Instructure developer shoes, I would probably assume that a teacher who wants to add a file/image to a content page is doing so purposefully and intentionally.  They may not want an image or file showing up in the Files area (aka unpublished), but they may still want to take advantage of that image or file in a content page that they are developing.  From my perspective, I don't believe that is as much of a loophole as it is just a function of the content editors allowing instructor access to unpublished items.

However, I can also certainly see why you may not want it to function the way it currently does.  In that case, my recommendation would be to put this in as a Feature Request.  Since there are likely people who wouldn't want it to behave differently than it already does and would be quick to down-vote such an idea that limits an instructor's ability to use images or files, my second recommendation would be to phrase your Feature Request in such a way that individual institutions could control whether or not instructors could use unpublished items in the rich-content-editors.  This way, institutions that want to "close the loophole" can do so while others who don't mind instructors using unpublished items can continue to do so.

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Learner II

Hi, crogers@cognella.com​.  I think I understand your question, but I'm going to rephrase it a little.  Essentially with "usage rights" enabled on your course, you are unable to publish files until you set usage rights on them.  The way I am interpreting your question (please correct me if I am wrong), is​ why can I use files that are unpublished in the rich-content-editor?  For example, if I upload an image file to the Files area but do not publish it, I can still use that image as the instructor when creating pages or really almost anywhere that the rich-content-editor is available.  This is true regardless of whether or not you use the "usage rights" option as that option just controls whether the items in Files can be published or not. (ref. How do I set usage rights and user access for a course file? )

I certainly cannot speak to the design aspect of *why* Instructure made it this way, but it has been this way for as long as I've been using Canvas (or at least as far back as I can remember).  If I were wearing the Instructure developer shoes, I would probably assume that a teacher who wants to add a file/image to a content page is doing so purposefully and intentionally.  They may not want an image or file showing up in the Files area (aka unpublished), but they may still want to take advantage of that image or file in a content page that they are developing.  From my perspective, I don't believe that is as much of a loophole as it is just a function of the content editors allowing instructor access to unpublished items.

However, I can also certainly see why you may not want it to function the way it currently does.  In that case, my recommendation would be to put this in as a Feature Request.  Since there are likely people who wouldn't want it to behave differently than it already does and would be quick to down-vote such an idea that limits an instructor's ability to use images or files, my second recommendation would be to phrase your Feature Request in such a way that individual institutions could control whether or not instructors could use unpublished items in the rich-content-editors.  This way, institutions that want to "close the loophole" can do so while others who don't mind instructors using unpublished items can continue to do so.

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Community Member

I may be missing what you are saying, but I just created a dummy page and included an unpublished image on the page, and a link to an unpublished PDF.  In both cases, it let me add these items to the page, but then when I went to "Student View" the page appeared with a "lock" iconlock.png where the unpublished image should have been, and when I clicked on the PDF link I was told "This file is currently locked."   *There wasn't a notification to the instructor that the content was unpublished, so faculty might put unpublished items on the page thinking their students could access those items.

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Good catch.  So it does let an instructor use them, but doesn't let the students see them.

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