Audiovisual Works in the Classroom

The Federal Court of Canada issued its decision in the litigation between Access Copyright and York University. The text of the decision is available online. UNB along with most institutions across the country are currently reviewing this decision to determine what impact it might have on our established Copyright policies and procedures.

Audiovisual works are subject to copyright protection similar to print and electronic materials. For the purposes of class instruction, faculty can rely on the principles of fair dealing, educational exceptions, and licenced resources to deliver audiovisual content to their students.

Fair Dealing

According to the principles of fair dealing, instructors and faculty are free to communicate short excerpts of audiovisual works via lecture presentation, handout, e-mail communication, and/or D2L.

Short Excerpt

A short excerpt means:

  • up to 10% of a copyright-protected work (including a literary work, musical score, sound recording, and an audiovisual work)
  • an entire single poem or musical score from a copyright-protected work containing other poems or musical scores

Educational Exceptions

The educational exceptions to the Copyright Act enable instructors to display or perform entire copyrighted works, such as feature films or television programs, for educational and non-profit purposes to an audience consisting primarily of students. Feature films shown in the classroom must be legally obtained copies personal or otherwise.

Moreover, the educational internet use exception permits the copying or communicating of an entire work from the web (provided you identify the original source and utilize a legal copy that does not contravene digital locks or any notices prohibiting the use of the work).

Furthermore, the mash-up exception to copyright allows instructors and students to create, for non-commercial uses, new works using copyrighted content (provided the original author is identified, a legal copy of the original is utilized, and the new work does not have a significant adverse effect on the original).

Terms of Use and Legal Notices

Always check the "terms of use" and "legal notices" associated with a given audiovisual work. These terms and notices outline the details of the licence agreement that may limit how and when the work may be used. Limitations set out in a licence agreement take precedence over the Fair Dealing Policy.

Digital Locks

Some copyright holders use digital locks to restrict access to copyright-protected works and/or to limit the use that can be made of such works. The Copyright Act prohibits the circumvention of digital locks to obtain access to copyright-protected works. The Fair Dealing Policy does not permit the circumvention of digital locks to obtain access to copyright-protected works. In order to access content behind a digital lock it is necessary to obtain the permission of the copyright holder.

Audiovisual Resources at UNB Libraries

UNB Libraries offer a wealth of audiovisual resources suitable for classroom use. Search UNB WorldCat for films by title, author (director), or subject/keyword and limit by "Format" in the left hand column of results to available "Video" options (eVideo, DVD, VHS, etc.) See the UNB Libraries Guide to Sound, Film, and Image Collections for useful links.

Audio Cine Films and Criterion Pictures

For non-educational uses of audiovisual content, or uses that exceed the parameter of fair dealing and educational exceptions, consult the licences available through Audio Cine Films and Criterion Pictures or contact copyright@unb.ca.

Copyright Video Tutorials

Watch our copyright video tutorials for an overview of copyrighted materials frequently used in university classrooms, including audiovisual materials, and learn how to utilize these within the limits of copyright legislation and licences.

To learn more about copyright in audiovisual works and education please consult the Universities Canada Fair Dealing Guidelines for Universities to Audiovisual Works.

FAQs

Can I show a feature film to my students in class?

Yes. The educational exceptions to the Copyright Act permit instructors to show films on the premises of an educational institution to an audience primarily made up of students. Feature films shown in the classroom must be legally obtained copies personal or otherwise - and must not contravene digital locks or any notices prohibiting such use.

Can I show a video from a website to my students in class?

Yes. The educational internet use exceptions to the Copyright Act permit the copying or communicating of an entire work from the web in the classroom (provided you identify the original source and utilize a legal copy that does not contravene digital locks or any notices prohibiting the use of the work).

Can I show a television news program or news commentary to my students in class?

Yes. Television news programs and news commentary can be played on the premises of an educational institution to an audience primarily made up of students or instructors. An instructor may also record a news program or news commentary and play to students in a classroom up to one year after the recording is made.

Can I post audiovisual content for my students on Desire2Learn?

Yes. Materials uploaded to Desire2Learn, however, must fall either within the terms of UNB Libraries licence agreements, educational exceptions, or fair dealing.

UNB Libraries strongly encourage instructors and faculty to use the Course Reserves when dealing with audiovidual and other course materials.