Copyright Act

Appropriate use of materials protected by copyright must comply with both the law and any license agreements into which the U of S has entered.  In Canada, rights (and limitations) of creators and allowable uses of copyright material are outlined in the Copyright Act. The University of Saskatchewan's policy on the Use of Materials Protected by Copyright was created with this legislation in mind to provide assistance to our university community in interpreting and complying with the law.

Canadian copyright law gives rights to creators but also strives balance those rights to allow users access to the protected works. For creators, the law is meant to ensure that they have control over their own creative works. For users, the law outlines the circumstances under which someone else’s work may be legally used, in whole or in part, for purposes of research, private study, criticism or review, news reporting, parody, satire, or education and outlines specific exceptions relating to libraries and archives and educational institutions. The law also sets a limitation on the term of copyright protection to entitle the public to use works after copyright expires which, in Canada, lasts for the life of the creator plus an additional 50 years (e.g. the "Life plus 50" rule).

The creator of a work (e.g. the copyright holder) is entitled to "economic rights" and "moral rights," which allow the creator the right to:

  • produce or reproduce the work in entirety or any substantial part
  • perform the work, or any substantial part, in public
  • publish the work
  • produce, copy, perform, or publish any translation of the work
  • adapt the work to another form (such as from book to film)
  • communicate the work to the public by telecommunication
  • remain associated with the work as its creator, or the right to be anonymous;
  • prevent any alterations or modifications of the work

The Copyright Act first came into effect in 1924 and has been amended significantly over the years. Most recently, Bill C-11, formerly Bill C-32, also called "The Copyright Modernization Act” or “An Act to Amend the Copyright Act," was introduced in September 2011 and received Royal Assent on June 29, 2012. This new legislation has come into force as of November 7, 2012.  For the full text of the Copyright Act, visit the Government of Canada's Department of Justice website at

The Copyright Office is available to answer your questions and provide assistance with interpreting the law. However, note that a lawyer specializing in copyright law may need to be consulted in some cases.


If you have any questions about copyright law, fair dealing practices, or about the licenses that the U of S holds, contact the Copyright Coordinator or your liaison librarian.

Note: The information obtained from or through this site does not constitute legal advice, but is provided as guidelines for using works for educational purposes.

Creative Commons License
All information found on the University of Saskatchewan Copyright website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada License unless otherwise noted.