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Can I always copy 10% of a book?

No.  The amount of a dealing is only 1 of 6 factors that must be considered when determining if your dealing is fair.  While 10% is an often-quoted guideline, in some cases using less than 10% could be considered unfair while in others it may be permissible to use more (i.e. a single chapter of a book). 

In 2018, the Federal Court of Appeal upheld the establishment of a bright line rule by the Copyright Board of Canada that determined copying 1-2 pages that did not exceed 2.5% of the total work was fair. In such cases, no further assessment was necessary. [2018 FCA 58]

Can I use the same book for another course?

Yes, each dealing is assessed separately.  The same book may be used in a different course or in the same course in the following academic year (September – August). 

Is there a difference if it is an eBook?

Licensing agreements can vary with each ebook.  It is important to review the terms of use while assessing your use of a copyrighted work.


Can I play music in class?

Music can be played on campus as part of instructional activities.  Live radio broadcasts or public domain works may be played for ambiance. Permissions would be needed for any other purposes. 

Can I post music in Brightspace?

Copyright protected musical works may not be posted online.  You may link to a legitimate source if it has been made publicly accessible and does not restrict for educational purposes.


Can I play videos in class?

Yes.  You may play videos in your class if they are:

  • Videos borrowed or streamed through the library.
  • Owned by you or borrowed from a friend or external library.
  • Made available on a publicly accessible platform such as YouTube by the copyright owner.

It is not permissible to play videos accessible through a personal licence such as Netflix.  

How much can I play from a video?

You may play as much as is required for the educational activities.  Playing videos for entertainment would require additional licensing/permissions.


What qualifies as non-commercial user generated content?

The non-commercial user generated content (mashup) exception allows for two or more creative works to be combined to create a new work.  The new work must be transformative in nature and not used for commercial purposes. For example:

Simply adding the lyrics of a song to a blank screen in time with the music does not add any new creative elements and would not qualify for the exemption. However, if that same musical work was combined with new original creative elements or other existing works in a new way, it would qualify as a transformative work. 


What are Technological Protection Measures and Digital Locks?

Technological Protection Measures (TPM) or Digital Locks are a way in which creators can protect their works or limit the ways their works are used.  These protection methods may be as complicated as encryption or as simple as a statement.  The copyright symbol © is not considered a method of TPM.

Can I use material I have acquired through my own personal subscription?

No.  Most personal subscriptions do not allow for educational uses. 

What licensed material is available to me through the college?

The Algonquin College Library subscribes to resources for use by staff, faculty and students.  Please visit the Library’s digital resources page to learn more about what resources are available.

What are OER’s?

Open Educational Resources (OER) are learning, teaching and research materials available in a variety of formats such as textbooks, courses, journals, multimedia and more. These resources fall under flexible open licensing and are accessible for anyone to use at no cost.  See the Library's OER subject guide for more details.


What is Fair Dealing?

Fair Dealing is an exception found within the Canadian Copyright Act that allows for limited use of insubstantial amounts of copyrighted works.  The federal Supreme Court has ruled that Fair Dealing is a user’s right.  Please see the licence page for more details.

Can I make copies for accessibility reasons?

For help with accessibility resources and guidelines please contact the Centre for Accessible Learning (CAL)

What are public domain works?

Works that do not qualify for copyrights or have had their copyright protection term end are considered part of the public domain. These works may used by anyone without permission or compensation.


How long does copyright protections last?

Most copyright protected works will enter the public domain 50 years after the life of the author.  Crown works enter the public domain 50 years after they are created.  Some works may be eligible for an additional term of protection if, published posthumously, or in the case of sound recordings, published within 50 years of creation.

The forthcoming ratification of the CUSMA (NAFTA 2.0), will extend copyright protection of most works to 75 years after the death of the author. 

Are student works covered by copyright?

Yes.  All original creative works are covered by copyright when they are created.

Why is it important to cite?

Citing copyright works is an important piece of our Academic Integrity policy and is part of the content creators’ moral rights.  If citation instructions are not included under the terms of use or licensing agreement, use the citation guide that is most appropriate for your field of study.  

Can I used publicly available materials I find on the internet in my class?

Reasonable steps must be taken to ensure that the material found online was uploaded by the copyright holder.  If it is reasonable to conclude that the source is legitimate, you may use the material in your class providing you credit the source and follow any terms of use on the material or website.

Can I link to materials I find on the internet?

Generally, linking to legitimate materials posted publicly online is permissible. Links should be reviewed regularly to ensure that there have been no changes to any terms of use.  Linking to material behind a personal subscription is not generally permissible.

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