Copyright at Georgian

Library & Academic Success Copyright Team

Library & Academic Success Copyright Team

Library &<br/>Academic Success



This guide was designed solely for informational purposes for Georgian College students, faculty & staff.

All other users are encouraged to check and confirm the information with their institution.

This site is prepared by library staff and is not reviewed by legal counsel.

Best Practices for Copyright Compliance

The library recommends the following Best Practices to support your curriculum development, teaching and learning while remaining copyright compliant:

  1. Use library content to support student needs wherever possible
  2. Use library eReserves to provide access to copyrighted course material(s)
  3. Link to content instead of downloading wherever possible
  4. Always ensure the source you use is credited
  5. Use legal content that has been made available by the copyright owner
  6. Ask us when unsure, we are always available to help!

These recommendations follow the priorities set out in Georgian's Copyright Policy and the Canadian Copyright Act.

Posting or Sharing Content with Students

A copy of a short excerpt from a copyright-protected work may be provided to each student enrolled in a class or course as a class handout (printed) or posted to a learning management system that requires a login/password.

It is a violation of copyright to share, post, or copy the content elsewhere for students without permission from the copyright holder.

These materials can be handed out, used in class, posted/shared only IF they are:

  • intended for educational purposes
  • limited to students enrolled in the course
  • only for the duration of the course 
  • restricted to Blackboard or Georgian community access only site
  • not acquired through Interlibrary Loan (ILL)*

*Note: Under Canadian copyright law, all materials acquired via an Interlibrary loan system must not be:

  • Further reproduced
  • Communicated, redistributed, or retransmitted to any other person

Please contact the Copyright Team to find alternative materials within Georgian’s collection for posting or sharing with your class or for additional options to obtain the specific material needed.

What is a "Short Excerpt"?

A short excerpt in Copyright generally means one of the following, whichever is greater:

  • Up to 10% of a work
  • One chapter from a book
  • One article from a journal
  • An entire artistic work (i.e. a painting, photograph, drawing, map, chart, plan) from a work that is copyright protected
  • One single newspaper article or page from a newspaper
  • An entire poem or single musical score
  • One entire entry from an encyclopedia 

You must cite your source clearly to remain copyright compliant when using short excerpts.

Short Excerpts for Educational Purposes - Examples:

  • Copying an article or book chapter and distributing it to students in class
  • Using Library eReserves to provide digital access for students via Blackboard
  • Posting an article or book chapter for students to access via Blackboard
  • Providing a short excerpt as part of a test or evaluation, both online & in-class

Short excerpts used for evaluation/testing - Examples:

  • Reproduction: images, diagrams or text from or a work can be copied
  • Translation:  passages of text from one work can be translated into another language
  • Communication: you can make a copy or translation of a work available to your students for the purposes of the exams on Blackboard.
  • Performance: you can show a film in the class or have a scene from a play re-enacted.

Using Videos, Images & Music in the Classroom and Online

Using Videos Online and the Classroom

From a copyright perspective, the term video includes movies, documentaries, feature films, cartoons and TV shows. Copyright restrictions on video use in the classroom, and online, and for recreational/social purposes differ depending on the origin/source of the video.

Creating recordings of your lectures or lessons?
Please review the Copyright considerations for Lecture Recordings in Blackboard.

Videos from the Library collection - Check our Video Streaming Guide for more detail

  • Most videos in the library collection are licensed for use in the classroom for educational purposes - use the Permitted uses link to check for restrictions or connect with us to verify
  • Some videos may also be streamed in synchronous online courses
  • You can provide a link in Blackboard for students to access titles available online individually
  • Social/recreational viewing of videos usually require public performance rights - please contact the library for more info

YouTube, Vimeo, TEDTalks & other Free Video Sources online

  • Verify that the video has been uploaded by the copyright owner (let us know if you're not sure!)
  • Use the YouTube embed code in Blackboard or provide link out to students
  • Show the video in class as you would normally
  • Give credit! Provide a citation or attribution statement that identifies the original source

Note: Videos content that is not posted by the copyright owner may violate copyright and should be avoided.

Netflix, Prime, iTunes, Crave, Hulu and other Subscription-Based streaming platforms

  • Personal subscriptions to these types of platforms do not typically include public performance rights (such as use in the classroom, on campus events, etc)
  • You must obtain permission from the streaming service/provider to use their materials in the classroom - please connect with the library for assistance
  • As an alternative - check the Library's Video Streaming guide - we do have a large collection of feature films that are licensed for classroom use

For specific questions, please contact the Copyright Team and ask us!

Using Images Online and the Classroom

From a copyright perspective, artistic works include images, paintings, drawings, maps, charts, plans, photographs, engravings, etchings, lithographs, woodcuts, prints, illustrations, sketches, sculptures, casts, models, patterns, maps, atlases, paintings, architectural drawings, plans, digital images, mosaics, art prints and compilations of artistic works, amongst others. Images are protected by copyright as soon as they are fixed (ie. as soon as a camera shutter clicks, the final paint is applied to canvas, a digital image is saved). Creators of artistic works are not required to register an image for copyright in order to own the copyright.

Creating recordings of your lectures or lessons?
Please review the Copyright considerations for Lecture Recordings in Blackboard.

Using Images in Printed Works under Fair Dealing

An entire artistic work (i.e. a painting, photograph, drawing, map, chart, plan) found inside a copyright protected work (such as a book, journal, or magazine), may be used under the Fair Dealing exception applies if the following conditions are met:

Note: some types of works may not be copied under Fair Dealing, please see When Fair Dealing does not apply or contact the Library for help with this.

Using Images from the web under Fair Dealing

All images found online are copyrighted even if there is no specific copyright mark or watermark visible, unless they are in the Public Domain*.

  • Fair Dealing allows you to use some images under certain circumstances (see criteria below)
  • Images in the Public Domain are no longer copyrighted and may be freely used for personal and educational purposes without the need to pay for or request permission to use
  • Images with a Creative Commons license (Such as: CC0, CC BY, CC BY-NC) can be used based on what the assigned license permits.

If an image does not have an open license, is not in the public domain, and is not eligible to be used under Fair Dealing, you may not use the image without written permission from the copyright owner. Please contact the library for help to acquire written permission or to locate an alternative image.

*It can be difficult to determine when photographs enter the public domain. Please contact the library for help with this.

Fair Dealing

An entire artistic work (i.e. a painting, photograph, drawing, map, chart, plan) found on a copyright protected website, may be used under the Fair Dealing exception if the following conditions are met:

Note: some types of works may not be copied under Fair Dealing, please see When Fair Dealing does not apply or contact the Copyright Team for help with this. Some websites may have specific collections or other permissions - please consult with the library to clarify in these cases.

Use Openly licensed images

Images or artistic works that are clearly marked as Public Domain, shared under Creative Commons licenses and some web-based image collections such as Unsplash, Pixabay, and Pexels may be used for both decorative and educational purposes. Openly licensed images provide a great way to enhance course materials and may be included in lessons, slides, screen casts or lecture recordings provided that you meet the following conditions:

  • Check images from web-based collections carefully to ensure an open license - some web based collections mix paid access/stock photography on the same page as openly licensed materials
  • Review and adhere to the terms of use or license requirements noted with the image
  • Provide attribution (recommended even if not required by the website)

For help locating openly licensed images, verifying license restrictions and more, please contact the library or review tips on our OER Guide

Using Images from Library Databases - Check our Images guide for more detail

The Library subscribes to databases that contain images that may be useful to you in your teaching activities. To use images from database in a Copyright Compliant way:

  • Review license restrictions specific to each database or image - see Images guide
  • Restrict sharing to students enrolled in the course - through Blackboard or in class
  • Properly cite and reference images

Using Music & Sound Recordings Online and the Classroom

From a copyright perspective, music and sound includes sound recordings, podcasts, live music, songs, spoken performances, and narrations of stories and books. As with streaming videos, personal subscriptions to streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music cannot be legally used in the classroom.

Creating recordings of your lectures or lessons?
Please review the Copyright considerations for Lecture Recordings in Blackboard.

Copyrighted Music and Sound Recordings may be played in the classroom & in synchronous online classes:

  • for educational or training purposes
  • if legally purchased in CD format (contact the library for advice about all other formats)
  • if available via a library database (check permitted uses)
  • during student presentations to other students, teacher or for examination

When using music and sound recordings for educational purposes, you must not:

  • circumvent or break digital locks to access
  • upload copyrighted content to Blackboard
  • use music from personal subscriptions services such as Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon Prime Music, etc.

Unless you have purchased a SOCAN license, copyrighted music may not be played:

  • for background music/ambience in the classroom
  • for entertainment purposes in the classroom or other public spaces
  • at sporting events
  • at any event that charges admission or are for profit

Openly licensed music, sound & audio for classroom ambience

  • Search OpenVerse and limit to openly licensed sound & music
  • Use live commercial radio

Screencasts & Pre-recorded Lessons

Creating instructional videos like screencasts or pre-recorded lessons? Best practices include:

  • Provide links to content (documents, other video, etc) instead of embedding/recording into your video
  • Quote, paraphrase, summarize & cite/reference any copyrighted materials
  • Include an attributions/references slide at the end
  • Give credit to any website or software shown, tools used in video creation, etc
  • Post in a secure location (not YouTube)
  • Contact us if your video will use/display...
    • Publisher supplied materials (PPT, textbook content,etc)
    • Music, sound recordings, audio clips or podcasts
    • Library resources, copyrighted web content, any other copyrighted materials

Lecture Recordings posted in Blackboard

The recording of lectures is governed by the Copyright Act and policy at Georgian:

Does your lecture contain copyrighted materials?

Additional considerations are needed to ensure Copyright compliance if your lecture/recording includes copyrighted materials such as:

  • Slides provided by a textbook publisher
  • Sharing a page from the course textbook
  • YouTube, CBC news clips or TED Talk videos
  • Library videos, books or other resources
  • Music, sound recordings, audio clips or podcasts
  • Images or web content not covered by a CC license

As long as your live lecture uses material that is copyright compliant, that same content will be compliant in the recorded lecture you stream and post in Blackboard. This includes using materials under Fair Dealing and citing/referencing materials. However, there are specific conditions to this provision.  

Section 30.03 of the Copyright Act requires that

The captured lecture must be destroyed within 30 days of the final course evaluations being giving to students in the class. 

Note: It is the recording of the lecture, not the PowerPoint or materials used in the lecture that must be destroyed.

For specific questions, please contact the Copyright Team and ask us!

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