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FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions about copyright

Q: I want to reuse content from a copyrighted work for education and not for profit, what can I do?

A:  If your use falls outside of fair dealing, Access Copyright or a license agreement, you must get permission or follow the terms of use.

Q.  Can I use anything I find on the Web?  

A: You need to make sure you are not infringing on copyright.  Please ensure that the rights holder posted the material you intend to use, as content on the web is not necessarily public domain.

Q. What is public domain?

A: Public domain is a legal term that has to do with copyright protection of published works.  In general, in Canada, an author's work goes into the public domain 50 years after the death of the author.

Q. Can I use any video I find on Youtube or the Web?

A:  Before using a Youtube video, be sure that the rights holder posted the content before you use the material in class or online. Also, you can show the video live in the classroom but cannot copy or download the video and show  it.

Q. Can I show movies and TV shows from Netflix, Amazon Prime, CBC Gem, Hoopla, Hulu, Disney+, Apple TV and other streaming services?

A: These streaming sources are licensed for personal use and do not extend to the classroom. They are not considered publicly available as you need to create a login, either paid or free, to access the content. When you create a login, you agree to "Terms of  Use" which state that the content is available for personal viewing only.

Netflix has recently added an educational screening exception for a limited number of its films. Look for the words "Grant of Permission for Educational Screenings" or "Educational Screenings Permission (ESP)" on media.netflix.com. See this post on Netflix for further information.

Q. Can I play a DVD from my own personal collection or from the Library in class?

As long as the DVD has been legally obtained and is not protected by a digital lock, and it is being played for educational purposes with no profit to be gained, you may play it in class. Public performance rights are no longer necessary when the film is being played during a class for a course.

Q. Can I play music I purchased through iTunes in class?

A. Yes, if you have purchased music from iTunes, you can play it in class.

Q. Can I make a digital copy of a DVD that I own and post it in MyCanvas

A. The Copyright Act restricts this kind of copying because it breaks or circumvents digital locks.

Q.  Do I own the courses, assignments and other teaching materials that I create?

A:  No, unless a contract has been signed that indicates otherwise, in most cases, the employer owns the rights to the work of their employees.  If you have any questions about this you should talk to your AD, Dean or union representative.

Q. Do students own the rights to their work?

A:  Yes they do.  You or anyone in the college should get written permission to use student materials e.g. in advertising promotions or fundraising activities.

Q.  Can students use copyrighted materials or trademarks in their assignments?

A:  Probably.  They should always credit or acknowledge any work or trademarks that they use. Please contact your liaison librarian for further assistance.

Q.  How do I cite images in PowerPoint?

A: You must credit sources in your PowerPoint when using any type of image.  Best practice is to cite your image and provide the URL.

Q. Can faculty share textbook supplements with students?

A. If a faculty member has chosen a book for their course, and students are required to purchase the text, faculty should have permission to reuse supplementary materials. Best practice is to connect with the publisher for permission.