Copyright infringement is a legal offense and is punishable under federal law. It involves the unauthorized use or distribution of someone else's creative work, which can include writings, songs, video clips, movies, visual art or other creative works. Taking a copyrighted work and making changes to it creates a “derivative work,” which would not be considered a unique work and also would not provide you with full copyright ownership. Exceptions included in the Canadian Copyright Act allow for limited copying of others’ works for specified purposes.

For more information about copyright infringement, please visit our What is Copyright? page or contact the Copyright Coordinator.

Plagiarism is a breach of academic integrity, which includes use of someone else's work without providing proper attribution and passing it off as your own. Plagiarism does not necessarily include copyright infringement, although it can be used as the basis to charge someone with copyright infringement. For example, even though copying one sentence from a short story or article is legal under copyright law, it may still qualify as plagiarism if the source has not been adequately cited.

Honesty and integrity are expected of every student, and academic and/or non-academic misconduct penalties may apply in a case of plagiarism or copyright infringement.

For more information about plagiarism and academic integrity, please visit the Academic Integrity Webpage, which links to a helpful Tutorial.

For more information about academic conduct, including the Student Academic Misconduct Regulations, please contact the Governance Office.

Getting Help

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

Kate Langrell
Copyright Coordinator
122.13 Murray Library

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.

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