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Copyright FAQs

Instruction and Copyright FAQs

  1. Can I upload content from the internet, such as YouTube videos, newspaper articles, and reports to D2L Brightspace or Teams for my courses?
  2. How is sharing course content via course reserves different from sharing via D2L Brightspace or Teams?
  3. Can I upload materials scanned from print to D2L Brightspace or Teams for my courses?
  4. Can I upload PDFs of journal articles or ebook chapters sourced from UNB Libraries to D2L Brightspace or Teams for my courses?
  5. What best practices are there for sharing images, lecture slides, and other teaching materials made available by a textbook publisher?
  6. Can I or my students create new works or mashups using copyrighted content?
  7. How do I use works such as graphs, charts, maps or other images in my teaching?
  8. Can I show an image from a website to my students in class?
  9. Can I provide photocopies of images to students in my class?
  10. Can I post images for my students on D2L Brightspace or Teams?
  11. What resources are there for images with less copyright restrictions?
  12. What is a digital lock?
  13. Are copyright rules for the web the same as for printed materials?
  14. Can I post audiovisual content for my students on D2L Brightspace or Teams?
  15. Can I show a feature film to my students in class?
  16. Can students make copies of my recorded lectures for personal use?
  17. Can any materials be copied and distributed for educational purposes without the owner’s permission?
  18. Can I provide sound recordings to my students via D2L Brightspace or Teams?
  19. How do I get permission to use someone else’s work?
  20. It is possible to make copies from workbooks or business case studies for students?
  21. Is it acceptable to include copyright-protected work in a final exam without obtaining permission from the rights holder?

Faculty and Students FAQs

  1. What is protected by copyright?
  2. Can I use works in the public domain without permission?
  3. What is fair dealing and how does it affect my work at UNB?
  4. Who owns copyright in the works I create at UNB?
  5. Do copyright rules differ across countries?
  6. What are moral rights and why are they important in the context of copyright?
  7. For educational reasons, is it possible to bypass passwords, encryption software or access codes that bloc access to copyrighted content?
  8. Are government documents in the public domain and can they be used for non-commercial purposes?
  9. Are letters, e-mails, social media posts, and blogs copyright-protected?
  10. Can I use content sourced from UNB Libraries’ licensed databases in my part-time job outside of the university?
  11. Can I play music at a university campus social event without obtaining a license?
  12. Is it OK to make a back-up copy of a computer program?

Questions and Answers: Instruction and Copyright

  1. Can I upload content from the internet, such as YouTube videos, newspaper articles, and reports to D2L Brightspace or Teams for my courses?

    When sharing third-party content available online, linking rather than uploading is the best practice. If uploading a copy is necessary for teaching, be sure to check if no suitable licensed or open access equivalents can be used instead, ensure that you credit the original source, use a legal copy of the original, do not circumvent digital locks or any notices prohibiting distribution, and remove it at the end of term. When linking to online content does not fit your teaching needs, we encourage you to submit a request to reserves@unb.ca. Library staff can guarantee the content is shared within the limits of copyright law and licenses. Explore this Copyright Decision Map for factors to consider when copying a variety of copyright-protected works.

  2. How is sharing course content via course reserves different from sharing via D2L Brightspace or Teams?

    D2L Brightspace and Teams are best suited for sharing materials that are the intellectual property of the instructor or content that is feely available on the web. When uploading materials to D2L Brightspace or Teams, you are responsible for ensuring that any copied content meets the limits of fair dealing, educational institutions exceptions, respects the terms of digital licenses, and is removed at the end of term. A major advantage of UNB Libraries' Course Reserves is that staff handle all copyright and licensing concerns related to your course materials and secure the necessary permissions for class distribution when materials exceed the parameters of fair dealing or library licenses.

  3. Can I upload materials scanned from print to D2L Brightspace or Teams for my courses?

    In the case of library or personal print materials scanned for online use, instructors can copy and distribute to their students up to 10% of a copyright-protected work, such as one journal article from an issue, one chapter from a monograph, a short story, a poem or a play from an anthology. You are responsible for ensuring that any copied content comes from a non-infringing original copy, meets the limits of fair dealing, educational institutions exceptions, and is removed at the end of term. If the content exceeds 10%, submit a request to reserves@unb.ca. Library staff will endeavor to secure the necessary permissions for class distribution when materials exceed the parameters of fair dealing. Explore this Copyright Decision Map for factors to consider when copying a variety of copyright-protected works.

  4. Can I upload PDFs of journal articles or ebook chapters sourced from UNB Libraries to D2L Brightspace or Teams for my courses?

    When sharing UNB Libraries’ licensed content with students, provide durable links instead of uploading files. Sharing durable links helps ensure license compliance and the collection of usage data. If you wish to include PDFs of readings, it is necessary to review the licensing restrictions. Library staff will locate the readings and provide appropriate links that will be accessible from your course’s homepage in D2L Brightspace. Forward your reading list with citations, or as much bibliographic information as possible, to reserves@unb.ca.

  5. What best practices are there for sharing images, lecture slides, and other teaching materials made available by a textbook publisher?

    When disseminating such materials via D2L Brightspace or Teams, check the “terms of use” that specify how the material can be shared, ensure that you give appropriate credit, limit sharing to students enrolled in a course that utilizes the publisher’s materials, and remove access to the content at the end of term. Also, let students know that copying or distribution of the publisher’s content outside of the course is prohibited.

  6. Can I or my students create new works or mashups using copyrighted content?

    Yes. When a user creates a new work based on parts of protected works, the most relevant exceptions in the Copyright Act are the Mashup and Fair Dealing exceptions. When creating a mashup, you must identify the authors of the different works involved, utilize a legal copy of the originals, and ensure that the new work does not have a significant adverse effect on the originals. See this workflow for more details about creating transformative media projects.

  7. How do I use works such as graphs, charts, maps or other images in my teaching?

    If an image is part of a larger copyrighted work, it may be copied within the limits of fair dealing or educational institutions exceptions for lecture presentation. Follow the steps outlined in Images in the Classroom. If the item is a stand-alone publication, it may require copyright permission before further copying. When sharing entire third-party works sourced from the web in a virtual classroom, linking rather than uploading is the best practice. If uploading a copy is necessary for teaching, be sure to check if no suitable licensed or open access equivalents can be used instead, ensure you credit the original source, use a legal copy of the original, do not circumvent digital locks or any notices prohibiting distribution, and remove it at the end of term. When linking to online content does not fit your teaching needs, we encourage you to submit a request to reserves@unb.ca. Library staff can guarantee the content is shared within the limits of copyright law and licenses.

  8. Can I show an image 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.

  9. Can I provide photocopies of images to students in my class?

    Yes. You can provide photocopies of images to your students as long as the images come from a larger copyrighted work and your copying meets the limits of fair dealing guidelines. If an image is a stand-alone publication, it may require copyright permission before further copying. Please contact copyright@unb.ca for more information.

  10. Can I post images for my students on D2L Brightspace or Teams?

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

  11. What resources are there for images with less copyright restrictions?

    Here are examples of sources for images with less copyright restrictions:

    Depending on their license, some images with less copyright restrictions may still require attribution as part of their terms of use.

  12. What is a digital lock?

    A digital lock, or a “technological protection measure” (TPM), is a technology used to control or restrict access to copyright-protected content. Examples of digital locks include passwords, encryption software, access codes, and digital watermarks. The Copyright Act prohibits the circumvention of digital locks to access copyright-protected works. The fair dealing and educational institutions exceptions do not permit the circumvention of digital locks to obtain access to copyright-protected works. In order to access content behind a digital lock you must obtain the permission of the copyright holder.

  13. Are copyright rules for the web the same as for printed materials?

    Generally, yes. Unless the content is under an open license, copyright permission is required to copy and disseminate third-party content sourced online. As an alternative to obtaining permission to copy material from the web, provide the URL. Check for "Copyright," "Legal Notices" or "Terms and Conditions" to ensure linking is not prohibited. Clearly credit the source. Avoid linking to content that may be sharing copyrighted materials illegally, such as e-books or feature films uploaded online by individual users. Do not circumvent digital locks.

  14. Can I post audiovisual content for my students on D2L Brightspace or Teams?

    Yes. Materials uploaded to D2L, however, must fall either within the terms of UNB Libraries’ license agreements, fair dealing, and educational institutions exceptions. UNB Libraries strongly encourage instructors to submit a request to reserves@unb.ca when dealing with audiovisual course materials. If your use of audiovisual content exceeds the parameter of fair dealing and educational institutions exceptions, library staff will assess the material, request copyright clearance or permissions, and render the material available to your students.

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

    Yes. The educational institutions exceptions in the Copyright Act permit instructors to show films and news programs on the premises of an educational institution, or in a virtual classroom, to an audience primarily made up of students. However, virtual screenings of feature films require more specific steps. Upon request, library staff will first search for commercially available streaming video. If streaming video is not available, we will digitize an instructor’s or the library’s copy of a film under the following conditions:

    • must use legally obtained DVD copies (e.g. not pirated),
    • must not contravene digital locks or any notices prohibiting such use,
    • must indicate that the copy is being made using this specific copyright exception: “You are receiving access to this teaching resource under s. 30.01 of the Copyright Act, for use in this class only,” and
    • must delete any copy you retain 30 days after you have received the final evaluation for the course. 

    When showing films in class, we encourage you to submit a request to reserves@unb.ca.

  16. Can students make copies of my recorded lectures for personal use?

    Since you own the copyright to teaching materials you have created, you should advise your students how you would like them to use your recorded lectures. Consider attaching a Creative Commons license to such course materials that will allow students to copy and/or distribute the material under specific conditions.

  17. Can any materials be copied and distributed for educational purposes without the owner’s permission?

    There are limitations to what can be copied without permission for educational purposes. Fair dealing limits permission-free copying for educational use. Generally, it is possible to copy and distribute up to 10% of a work. For instance, one journal article from an issue, one chapter from a monograph, a short story, poem, play or essay from a book or periodical. The educational institutions exceptions in the Copyright Act also limit the purpose and the place of permission-free copying and displaying to specific contexts: in-person and online classroom presentations and examinations or tests. In the case of third-party content sourced online, consider linking instead of downloading or copying. If linking to this content does not fit your teaching needs, we encourage you to submit a request to reserves@unb.ca.

  18. Can I provide sound recordings to my students via D2L Brightspace or Teams?

    Yes. However, materials uploaded to D2L or Teams must fall either within the terms of UNB Libraries' licence agreements, fair dealing, or educational institutions exceptions. UNB Libraries strongly encourage instructors to submit a request to reserves@unb.ca when dealing with sound recordings. If your use of a given sound recording exceeds the parameter of fair dealing and educational exceptions, library staff will assess the material, request copyright clearance or permissions, and render the material available to your students.

  19. How do I get permission to use someone else’s work?

    Determine who is the copyright owner of the work, such as the author or publisher. In advance of using the work, obtain permission or purchase a license. Contact copyright@unb.ca for assistance in this process.

  20. It is possible to make copies from workbooks or business case studies for students?

    Materials such as workbooks, business case studies, and sheet music are considered consumables and may not be reproduced without the copyright owner's permission. Contact copyright@unb.ca to make these types of materials available to your students.

  21. Is it acceptable to include copyright-protected work in a final exam without obtaining permission from the rights holder?

    Educational institutions exceptions in the Copyright Act allow a copyright-protected work to be used in a test or exam, if it is not already available in a commercial format intended for exam use.

Questions and Answers: Faculty and Students

  1. Can I use works in the public domain without permission?

    Permission is not required to reproduce material 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, a work becomes public domain. When a work in the public domain is re-published, such as Shakespeare's Hamlet, the original work remains in the public domain, but copyright to the version of Hamlet published by Penguin is held by the Penguin publishing company.

  2. What is fair dealing and how does it affect my work at UNB?

    Fair Dealing is an important option for students, faculty, and researchers sharing copyright-protected content. Fair dealing enables access to a range of course readings available to students and facilitates sharing of short excerpts from texts and media in the context of teaching and/or research. Under Fair Dealing, you can provide short excerpts of copyright-protected content to students and faculty via handout, e-mail, D2L, Teams, and classroom display. Specific examples of short excerpts include:

    • a copy of an article from a scientific, technical, or scholarly periodical;
    • a newspaper article;
    • a clip from a film or sound recording; and
    • a short story, play, poem, or essay from a publication containing other works.
  3. Who owns copyright in the works I create at UNB?

    UNB faculty and students own the copyright in works they create during their research, teaching, or studies at the university. Read this information about intellectual property at UNB.

  4. Do copyright rules differ across countries?

    Even though there are international treaties and conventions that protect copyright, the level of protection varies across national jurisdictions. Canadian copyright law protects works created in Canada and extends to works created in other countries but being used in Canada. Namely, users apply the copyright laws of the country where the material is being used.

  5. What are moral rights and why are they important in the context of copyright?

    Author's moral rights require of others that the author be credited for his or her own work and that his or her reputation is not negatively affected by modifications to, performance of, or display of the original work. Unlike an author’s economic rights, an author's moral rights cannot be assigned or sold to someone else, but they can be waived.

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

    The Copyright Act prohibits the circumvention of digital locks. Fair dealing and other educational exceptions do not permit the circumvention of digital locks to obtain access to copyright-protected works. In order to access content behind a digital lock you must obtain permission of the copyright holder.

  7. Are government documents in the public domain and can they be used for non-commercial purposes?

    There is currently no standard approach to copyright and government documents. Individual government departments have different expectations about how to use their published materials. Unless otherwise indicated on their website or publication, any reproduction for dissemination should have permission from the respective agency or department. Efforts by the federal government are on the way to simplify access and use of publicly available government documents for non-commercial use.

  8. Are letters, e-mails, social media posts, and blogs copyright-protected?

    All these works are protected by copyright. Keep in mind that the employer owns the copyright to material produced as part of a job. Also, even though you own the copyright to your social media posts, by agreeing to the terms of use of social media platforms, you are giving social media companies a very broad license to use your content in a variety of ways.

  9. Can I use content sourced from UNB Libraries’ licensed databases in my part-time job outside of the university?

    UNB Libraries' electronic resources, such as e-journals, e-books, and 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 – these are materials accessed through the library website, D2L Brightspace, Teams, Zotero, or Course Reserves – please follow the above terms of UNB Libraries’ educational licenses.

  10. Can I play music at a university campus social event without obtaining a license?

    Unless the music has been sourced from the public domain or is under an open license that includes public performance as a term of use, you need to obtain a public performance license. For non-educational uses of music and sound, or uses that exceed the parameter of fair dealing and educational institutions exceptions, review the licenses available through The Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada and The Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency or contact copyright@unb.ca.

  11. Is it OK to make a back-up copy of a computer program?

    The owner of a legitimate copy of a computer program has the right to make one back-up copy that must be destroyed when the user’s authorized access to the computer program expires. Borrowers of the computer program do not share this same right.