Teaching and Copyright

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.

The fair dealing and educational exceptions to the Copyright Act provide a degree of latitude for instructors and faculty using published, copyright-protected materials in the classroom.

Within the limits of fair dealing and educational exceptions, instructors and faculty can

  • copy and distribute up to 10% of a work or one journal article from an issue, one chapter from a monograph, a short story, poem, play or essay from a book or periodical, artistic work or musical score from a book or a dictionary and encyclopedia entry;
  • project a complete copyrighted item on a screen for in-class teaching without copyright permission;
  • make short excerpts of copyrighted material available digitally (for example, as part of an online course restricted by a password) for further distribution to the class; and
  • copy and communicate of an entire copyrighted work from the web (provided the original source is identified, a legal copy of the original is utilized, and no digital locks or any notices prohibiting the intended use of the work are contravened).

Before copying, ask yourself the questions from Copyright @ UNB.

UNB Libraries strongly encourage instructors and faculty to use the Course Reserves system. Advantages of this system include easy access to readings for your students and peace of mind that library staff are looking after all copyright aspects of your Course Reserves.

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

To learn more about copyright in teaching and education please consult the Universities Canada Fair Dealing Guidelines for University Teaching and Research.

FAQs

There is no difference between uploading content to D2L or UNB Libraries' Course Reserves.

False. Both systems effectively deliver course content to your students, however, D2L is best suited for delivering materials that are the intellectual property of the instructor or content that is feely available from the web. When uploading materials to D2L, you are responsible for ensuring that any copied content meets the limits of fair dealing, respects the terms of digital licences, and is removed at the end of term. A major advantage of using the UNB Libraries' Course Reserves system is that reserves staff handle all copyright concerns related to your course materials. Also, if any of the materials exceed the parameters of fair dealing or library licences, reserves staff secure the necessary permissions for class distribution.

Any materials can be copied and distributed for educational purposes without the owner’s permission.

False. There are limitations to what can be copied without permission for educational purposes. The “Fair Dealing” clause limits permission-free copying for educational use. Generally, it is possible to copy and distribute up to 10% of a work or one journal article from an issue, one chapter from a monograph, a short story, poem, play or essay from a book or periodical, artistic work or musical score from a book or a dictionary and encyclopedia entry. The “Educational Exceptions” in the Copyright Act also limit the purpose and the place of permission-free copying to class presentations and copying for examinations or tests.

Materials that fall under Fair Dealing or Educational Exceptions can be uploaded by an instructor to a Learning Management System such as Desire2Learn.

True. Generally, it is possible to copy and distribute up to 10% of a work or one journal article from an issue, one chapter from a monograph, a short story, poem, play or essay from a book or periodical, artistic work or musical score from a book or a dictionary and encyclopedia entry. Materials uploaded to Desire2Learn must fall either within the terms of UNB Libraries’ licence agreements, educational exceptions, or fair dealing.

Instructors can incorporate a complete copyrighted work (such as a journal article, chart, map, photograph, diagram, or drawing) into a PowerPoint presentation and display it on a screen in a classroom without permission.

True. Instructors can project a complete copyrighted item on a screen for in-class teaching without copyright permission. Moreover, instructors can make that material available digitally (for example, as part of an online course restricted by a password) for further distribution to the class. Furthermore, the new educational internet use exceptions permit the copying and communicating of an entire copyrighted work from the web (provided the original source is identified, a legal copy of the original is utilized, and no digital locks or any notices prohibiting the intended use of the work are contravened).

Copyrighted items such as a graph, chart, map, photograph, diagram or drawing, can be used without permission.

True, most of the time… While items such as graphs, charts, maps, photographs, diagrams or drawings, are considered complete, stand-alone items, it is possible to copy an entire work within the limits of the fair dealing or educational exceptions. Specifically, if an item, such as an image, is a portion of a larger copyrighted work, it may be copied within the limits of fair dealing or educational exceptions. If the item is a stand-alone publication, it may require copyright permission before further copying. Please contact copyright@unb.ca for more information.

Copying a “substantial part” of a copyrighted work means copying more than 10% of that work.

False. According to Canadian case law, a “substantial part” of a copyrighted work has to do with the quality rather than the quantity of what was taken from the original work. As a result, no quantitative percentage of a work can be used to determine what constitutes a “substantial part” of a work. In general, reproducing a few sentences from a periodical article or book as a quotation is not a reproduction of a substantial part of the work and is therefore not an infringement of copyright.

The Universities Canada Fair Dealing Guidelines provide useful examples of short excerpts that each qualify as a “substantial part” of a copyrighted work, but are permissible to copy for educational and research purposes within the parameters of Fair Dealing. The following list of examples is not exhaustive. Please contact copyright@unb.ca for copying beyond these limits:

  • (a) up to 10% of a copyright-protected work (including a literary work, musical score, sound recording, and an audiovisual work)
  • (b) one chapter from a book
  • (c) a single article from a periodical
  • (d) an entire artistic work (including a painting, print, photograph, diagram, drawing, map, chart, and plan) from a copyright-protected work containing other artistic works
  • (e) an entire newspaper article or page
  • (f) an entire single poem or musical score from a copyright-protected work containing other poems or musical scores
  • (g) an entire entry from an encyclopedia, annotated bibliography, dictionary or similar reference work

There are no limits to how materials located in UNB Libraries licensed electronic databases may be used.

False. UNB Libraries' electronic resources, such as e-journals, e-books, and image databases, are licensed under specific restrictions:

“Resources are licensed to the University of New Brunswick for academic purposes ONLY. The content may not be reproduced, retransmitted, disseminated, sold, distributed, published, broadcast or circulated. Remote access restricted to members of the University of New Brunswick/St. Thomas University community.”

When using UNB Libraries' electronic resources in courses at the University of New Brunswick and among colleagues – materials accessed through the library website, Desire2Learn, Zotero, or e-Reserves – please follow the above terms of UNB Libraries’ educational licences.

I can share the readings posted on my Library Course Reserves or D2L account with colleagues and fellow researchers who are not in my class.

True. While Library Course Reserves and D2L are content management systems that deliver access to copyrighted materials to students registered in a given course, it is possible to share this content if it passes the Fair Dealing test (sharing for further educational or research purposes). It is against the UNB copyright policy to share copied course content in an open environment such as a website.

If an image or photo is on a website, I can copy it freely because everything on the web is in the public domain.

It depends: While the vast majority of material either on the web or in print is protected by copyright, there are specific exceptions that allow you to incorporate copyrighted material without the permission of the owner. In the classroom, it is possible to distribute certain amounts of material based upon the Fair Dealing limits.

The educational internet use exceptions permit the copying or communicating of an entire work from the web (provided the original source is identified and is a legal copy that does not contravene digital locks or any notices prohibiting the use of the work).

Moreover, 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).

Another possibility is that the web site specifically states copyright clearance is not necessary (i.e. identified Flickr images or material licensed with Creative Commons). As an alternative to obtaining permission to copy material from the web, provide the URL in your work. However, if the use is not categorized above, images, photos, maps, etc. found on the web will generally need to be cleared for copyright before using them. Contact copyright@unb.ca for further information on clearing rights.

See the UNB Libraries Guide to Sound, Film, and Image Collections for useful links.

For educational or non-profit reasons it is possible to bypass passwords, encryption software or access codes that bloc access to copyrighted content.

False. Some copyright holders use digital locks to restrict access to copyright-protected works and/or to limit the use of such works. The Copyright Act now prohibits the circumvention of digital locks. 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, permission of the copyright holder must be obtained.

It is possible to make copies from workbooks for students?

False. Materials such as workbooks, business case studies, and sheet music are considered consumables and may not be reproduced under any circumstance without the copyright owner's permission.

A work in the public domain (where copyright has expired) can be used freely and without permission.

True. Permission is not required to reproduce material in the public domain. Unfortunately, the definition of public domain is not commonly understood. Material that is publicly available does not mean that it is in the public domain. The vast majority of material either in print or on the web is not in the public domain. A work is protected by copyright in Canada for the life of the creator plus 50 years after his or her death (or, in the case of multiple authors, the last author's death). After this period, the work enters the public domain. Although this rule may seem straightforward, confusion results when the work is re-published. Hence, Shakespeare's Hamlet in its original form remains in the public domain, but copyright to the version of Hamlet published by Penguin is held by that corporation.

Copying an insubstantial portion of a copyrighted work without permission is possible as long as the original source is properly identified.

True. It is permissible to quote an insubstantial amount of text without obtaining copyright permission as long as the source is properly identified. However, copyright clearance may be required for making multiple copies that are more than a substantial portion of a work and for copying the integral or the most important portion of a work. In these instances, citing the source is not enough.

It is OK to make a back-up copy of a computer program.

True. The owner of a legitimate copy of a computer program has the right to make one back-up copy which must be destroyed as soon as he or she is no longer the owner of the computer program. Borrowers of the computer program do not share this same right.

Letters, e-mails, newsgroups and blogs are copyright-protected.

True. Letters, e-mails, newsgroups and blogs are considered literary works and are protected by copyright. The employer owns the copyright if the material was produced as part of a job.

Government Documents are in the public domain and can be used for non-commercial purposes.

Generally True. There is no restriction to reproduce Government of Canada works, in part or in whole, for both personal and non-commercial purposes without permission. It is also possible to charge a fee to cover the printing costs only. However, if the work is altered in any way, permission is necessary. Provincial, rather than federal, government documents may also require copyright permissions. Check with the specific provincial authority for information about reproduction costs.

It is acceptable to include copyright-protected work in a final exam without obtaining permission from the rights holder.

True. “Educational Exceptions” to the Copyright Act allow a copyright-protected work to be used in a test or exam as long as it is not already available in a commercial format intended for exam use.

Copyright rules for the web are the same as copyright rules for printed materials.

True. While the web is not specifically covered in the Copyright Act, material on the web is generally treated the same way as printed material. Copyright clearance is required to copy material from the web. As an alternative to obtaining permission to copy material from the web, provide the URL. Be sure to check for "Copyright" or "Legal Notices" or "Terms and Conditions" sections on the website to ensure that deep linking (linking to a page deeper than the home page) is not prohibited.

The new “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 properly identified, a legal copy of the original is utilized, and the new copy does not have a significant adverse effect on the original).

In addition, the new educational internet use exceptions allow instructors or persons acting on their behalf to copy or communicate an entire copyrighted work from the web for use in the classroom (provided the original source is identified, a legal copy of the original is utilized, and no digital locks or any notices prohibiting the intended use of the work are contravened).