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In the Classroom

Using Content from the Internet (including videos)

If you find something on an open (not password protected) website that you want to share with your students, you can simply provide a link to the site and students can go there to access the material themselves. 

There is an exception in the Copyright Act that specifically allows for the reproduction of any legitimately posted works that are available through the Internet, provided that the source and author are attributed, unless the works are protected by TPMs (“digital locks”) or a clearly visible notice is posted on the website or the work (not simply the copyright symbol itself) which prohibits the activity. Also, do not reproduce any content that you know, or suspect, has been illegally posted.

Look under the “Terms of Use” or “Legal Notices” of the webpage for information on permissible uses and contact information for permissions. If you are required to seek permission to use the content, keep a copy of any permissions you receive.

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Posting Material Online (ie., Blackboard, etc.)

Instructors may post PowerPoint presentations containing copyrighted content online, as long as the limits for reproducing and distributing material as outlined in the Fair Dealing Guidelines are respected.  If the source is available, please provide a citation in the slide presentation.

Instructors may upload material to password-protected sites, like Blackboard to share with the students enrolled in a course as long as the material uploaded complies with the fair dealing limits.  If the material exceeds the limitations outlined in the Fair Dealing Guidelines, express permission to distribute the material electronically must be sought from the author or publisher.

Some of the University Library’s e-journal content may be posted in PDF form to the learning management systems, according to the licenses the Library has negotiated with the vendors. This information is available through the usage rights search tool, accessible when searching journals using the Library’s catalogue.

Alternatively, you may link directly to e-journal content rather than downloading and posting the PDF. The University Library has created a guide on how to create persistent links to e-journal articles.

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Handing Out Copies in Class

Making multiple copies of copyrighted works for the purpose of instruction or teaching falls under the fair dealing exception in the Copyright Act allowing for distribution to students enrolled in the course.  If the handout exceeds the limitations outlined in the Fair Dealing Guidelines, you must seek express permission from the author or publisher to make the number of copies you need.

There are additional options for making copies available to students, such as:

  • Providing students with a link to licensed e-journal or e-book content
  • Placing the original book/resource on Course Reserve (or e-reserve) with the University Library for students to borrow and make their own personal copy
  • Making copies from works in the public domain, Open Access material, or Creative Commons licensed materials
  • Using works that you have created yourself (if you have not assigned your copyright to another entity, such as a publisher)
  • Seeking a transactional license with the publisher or copyright holder for permission to make the material available to your students

When it is necessary to request permission, always ensure you allow plenty of time to acquire the appropriate permissions to use the materials. The average time to clear material is 6-8 weeks or more. Keep a copy of any permissions you receive.

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Publishers often include digital teaching resources with the instructor’s version of the textbook. In most cases, the textbook publishers may allow you to include copies of text, figures, images, charts, etc. in your PowerPoint slides and online resources, but usually only if the textbook is a required text for the course. Please review the copyright notice provided with the materials or talk to your publisher representative to determine permitted uses and comply with any conditions that may be attached to your use of the work. Keep a record of any permissions you receive.

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Tests and Exams

Materials may be reproduced (or performed) for the purpose of testing or examinations on university premises, assuming the material is not otherwise commercially available.

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Audio-visual works may be shown to students on the premises of an educational institution as long as the recording is a legal, commercial copy played for the purpose of education, the audience is primarily students, and no profit is gained. There is no longer the need to ensure a public performance license is in place. Works may be performed live (such as a play) without permission under these conditions as well.

Non-educational uses of video such as for events, entertainment, ambience, etc. require public performance licenses from Audio-Cine Films or Criterion Video. Licenses for these types of events may be arranged through the above companies for an additional fee. Keep copies of any permissions you receive. 

To help determine whether your desired use falls within the permitted uses, or for assistance in obtaining the necessary public performance license, please contact CCDE.

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Radio or Television Programs

The Copyright Act stipulates that it is permitted to record a radio/TV program (via off-air reception, cable, satellite, radio, etc.) and keep it for 30 days for private review. After 30 days, the copy must be destroyed.  If the program is to be used in an educational setting or kept beyond the 30-day preview period, a tariff must be paid to the Educational Rights Collective of Canada (ERCC). Any recording is subject to record keeping provisions.

A radio or television news program or news commentary may be recorded off air and used in an educational setting for up to one year.  After one year, the copy must be destroyed or, to use beyond the one year a tariff must be paid to the Educational Rights Collective of Canada (ERCC). A record must be kept of all recordings made from television or radio.

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User-Generated Content

Existing works or other subject matter that has been made publicly available may be used in the creation of a new work. It must be solely for non-commercial purposes, the original source must be properly cited, the original work must not have been made available by infringing the copyright owner’s rights, and use of the work will not adversely exploit or affect the original work.

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Students with Perceptual Disabilities

Adaption of a work for someone with a perceptual disability is allowed without permission unless the work is available commercially in an appropriate format.  This exception to the Copyright Act does not apply to a cinematographic work, such as a movie. For more information and assistance with these resources, contact Disability Services for Students.

The Copyright Office is available to help if you have questions about copyright or if you would like to schedule a presentation about copyright for you and your colleagues.

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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.