This webpage is part of a series about copyright and course materials. The other three webpages in the series cover:

There is also an instructor frequently asked questions webpage with some additional information about providing course materials. 

Displaying materials in class

For the purpose of education or training, it is not an infringement of copyright for you – a university faculty member or instructor – to “reproduce a work, or do any other necessary act, in order to display it” in the classroom for your students (section 29.4, Canadian Copyright Act).

Please cite copyright-protected materials that are displayed in class.

Distributing materials from print resources

Under the University of Saskatchewan (USask) Fair Dealing Guidelines, a single copy of a short excerpt from a work may be distributed as a class handout to each student registered in a USask course. A “work” includes literary works, musical scores, sound recordings and audiovisual works. Examples of short excerpts include:

10% or less of a work, or no more than:

  • one chapter from a book;
  • a single article from a periodical or journal issue;
  • an entire newspaper article or page;
  • an entire single poem or musical score from a work containing other poems or musical scores;
  • an entire entry from an encyclopedia, annotated bibliography, dictionary or similar reference work.

Please ensure that any materials that you distribute based on fair dealing are cited. If the amount that you would like to distribute exceeds the limitations outlined in the Fair Dealing Guidelines, you will need to acquire written permission from the copyright holder to make the number of copies that you need. The Copyright Office can assist with identifying and contacting copyright holders to acquire clearance for distributing materials to your students.

Materials found on the internet

It is not an infringement of copyright for a faculty member or instructor to distribute material available through the Internet (for example, documents, images, videos, etc.) to students in their class, for the purposes of education or training, under the following conditions:

  • no digital locks were circumvented to access the material (for example, the material was not password-protected or behind a paywall);
  • the source of the material is cited (including the author/creator’s name, if available)
  • you are reasonably sure that the copy you found was not an infringing copy (that is, was posted legally online);
  • that there was no clearly visible notice on the website or the material found online, prohibiting your intended use of the material (this notice needs to be more than just the copyright symbol “©”).

You can also provide students with a link to any materials that are legally and openly available online. This is a very good option if there is a notice on the website/online material that prohibits making and distributing copies.

Most material on the internet is not in the public domain and is subject to the same copyright protection as any other work, such as a book or movie. Please do not copy or show any content that you know, or suspect, has been illegally posted.

Copyright information may be located on webpages such as “Terms of Use,” “Legal Notices,” “Copyright Notice” or something similar. These webpages may also include contact information for acquiring copyright permission. If you acquire permission to use the content, please keep a copy of any permissions that you receive.

Playing video and audio that is legally, openly available on the Internet is permissible in a classroom for the purpose of education or training. For example, much of what is on YouTube is posted legally and can be shown in class without permission, but Netflix has restricted access (a paywall and password-protection) so this exception for using online materials in class does not apply to Netflix. For additional information about Netflix, please see our instructor frequently asked questions webpage.

Please contact the copyright coordinator with any questions you may have about using materials from the internet. 

Lecture slides and images

University of Saskatchewan faculty are the copyright holders of their lectures, as per the USFA collective agreement. However, you may not own the copyright to all of the content within your lecture.

A faculty member or instructor can “reproduce a work, or do any other necessary act, in order to display it” in the classroom for students (section 29.4, Canadian Copyright Act). If you would like to hand out your lecture slides to the students in your class, you can include many copyright-protected materials – such as images – in your slides as long as the use of copyright-protected materials is covered either by a licence or by an exception in the Copyright Act.

Some options for including copyrighted materials, such as images, in your lecture slides without having to acquire copyright permission include:

  • using material that falls within the limits of USask Fair Dealing Guidelines;
  • using materials found on the Internet (please see the conditions listed in the above materials found on the internet section);
  • using material that you have created for which you own the copyright (that is, material that you have created and have not transferred copyright to a publisher);
  • using open access or Creative Commons-licenced material;
  • providing links to online materials such as news articles, YouTube videos, etc.;
  • creating a persistent link to electronic library materials (see the Library’s Direct/Persistent Linking to Electronic Resources Research Guide);
  • using public domain material;
  • if there is a required textbook for the course, using supplemental materials that were provided with the required text by the book publisher if permitted (see the supplemental resources section below).

It is important that access to the material is limited to the students enrolled in the course. If you need to use material outside of the options listed above, you must seek express permission from the copyright owner to distribute the content. Please keep a copy of any permissions that you receive.

Works of art

Before using a work of art, it is important to determine who owns the copyright and who owns the physical property. For example, an art gallery may own a painting, but unless the artist has assigned the copyright to the art gallery, the artist holds the copyright to that work. In this case, the art gallery controls the access rights only.  Unless your use is covered by an exception or existing license, permission must be obtained from all copyright owners before using a work of art.

A copy of a work of art (such as a painting) can be made to display to students for educational purposes only if it is not commercially available in that format. Commercially produced slides and transparencies can be freely used in the classroom, but cannot be duplicated or transferred to another format without obtaining permission.

Supplemental resources provided with required course textbooks

In many cases, textbook publishers will provide electronic instructor resources to go along with a required textbook for a course. Publishers may allow extensive use of images and other materials from the textbook and the supplemental resources in course materials for students, but only if the textbook is required for the course. If you would like to use these supplemental resources in classes for which the textbook is not required, then you likely need to request permission to do so from the publisher. Please review any copyright information or terms of use that come with supplemental materials or talk to your publisher representative, to determine permitted uses and any conditions that may be attached to your use of the materials. Please keep a copy of any permissions that you receive.

Other media – music, film, television and radio

Movies, films, television programs and sound recordings (such as compact discs or digital audio) may be played, without permission, for students on the premise of an educational institution under the following conditions:

  • the copy of the audio/video is legally obtained;
  • the audio/video is played for the purpose of education or training;
  • the audience for whom the material is played is made up of primarily students; and
  • no profit is gained by use of the audio/video.

Under these conditions, a public performance licence does not need to be acquired to show the video or play the audio. Please note that this above exception does not allow for copying the audiovisual or sound recording, in part or in whole, but only for showing/playing a legitimately obtained copy of it. Works, such as a play or piece of music, may be performed live without permission under the above conditions as well.

A radio or television news program or news commentary may be recorded and played for USask students for educational or training purposes. There is no limit on the length of time the recording may be kept and payment of royalties is not required.

For radio or television programs other than news programs or news commentary, the program(s) – excluding documentaries – may be recorded off-air for preview purposes, provided the copy is kept no longer than 30 days. 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, royalties must be paid.


  • For information about Netflix, please see our instructor frequently asked questions webpage.
  • Non-educational use of film on campus requires a public performance licence to be acquired before the film can be shown. For more information, please see our how to show a film on campus webpage.
  • For information on non-educational use of music, please see our staff frequently asked questions webpage.
  • Please contact the Copyright Office with any questions about permitted uses of audio or audiovisual works or for assistance with obtaining a public performance licence.

Tests and exams

Materials may be reproduced (or performed on university premises) for the purpose of testing or examinations, as long as the material is not commercially available in an appropriate format.

Classroom recordings, lecture capture and televised classes

Lessons, including tests and exams, may be recorded and communicated to students enrolled in a distance or televised course for later viewing or listening, provided that:

  • the recording or copy is destroyed, by the university and the students, within 30 days after the end of the course;
  • the institution takes measures (such as implementing password-protection) to limit the audience to only students enrolled in the course in which the lesson was given;
  • the institution takes measures to prevent further copying and distribution of the lesson by the students in the course.

Section 30.01 (4) of the Copyright Act states that “A student who is enrolled in a course of which the lesson forms a part is deemed to be a person on the premises of the educational institution when the student participates in or receives the lesson by means of communication by telecommunication.”

Getting help

If you have any questions or concerns about copyright, please let us know!

Copyright Coordinator
122.13 Murray Library

Note: The information obtained from or through this site does not constitute legal advice.


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