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Copyright guide for Camosun College: COVID-19

Tips for Digital Delivery

Key points to remember:

  1. Most of the legal issues are the same whether the teaching is done in person or online (D2L).
  2. If it was okay to do in class, it is often okay to do online – especially when your online access is limited to the same enrolled students (for example via D2L).
  3. You can continue to apply the Fair Dealing Guideline of Camosun College.


  • Use D2L to make material available to your students and use following tools to deliver lectures with copyrighted content. For more information, please check Guidance for Remote Instruction from CETL.
    • D2L Learning Management System
    • Blackboard Collaborate Ultra (BBCU) Web Conferencing
    • Kaltura Video Creation and Streaming
    • Email
  • Post your in-class slides to D2L. Slides provided by textbook publishers can almost always be used, according to their Terms of Use. Content that you have created and for which you are the copyright owner can always be shared.
  • Course readings rules for print and online posting to D2L are similar. Either use the guideline of your the Fair Dealing Guideline of Camosun College, link to a resource within Camosun College Library Collections, or link out to Internet content.
  • Camosun College Subject/Liaison Librarians may be able to help you find alternative content, and the Camosun College Library has a large collection of online journals and ebooks that can help support online learning. In fact, many content providers have recently increased access to a variety of materials to ensure broader access by campuses. Your librarian can also help you find openly licensed teaching materials like Open Educational Resources (OER). Please check Open Resources page on Camosun LibGuide.
  • Use phone apps like Genius Scan or Adobe Scan to easily scan to post print materials on D2L within the limits allowed by the Copyright Act (including fair dealing – see the Fair Dealing Guideline of Camosun College). Make scanned PDF files more accessible for your students by using an Ally on D2L to convert "non-selectable" text files into more accessible versions. Please contact for further information. 
  • Sharing audiovisual material like films and audio files is more complex. But remember you can still link to legally posted online content (from YouTube etc.). Camosun College Library has Media Streaming collections that you may link to. Standard commercial streaming options like Netflix, Crave or Disney Plus that students may also subscribe to can be an option – though some students may not have access to those services.
  • Using copyrighted material in exams can be easy, as you can follow the Fair Dealing Guideline of Camosun College. If you need to use material beyond this, copyright exception s. 30.01 can also apply, contact Camosun College Copyright Advisor (Young Joo, if you need help to implement this copyright exception as there are rules that need to be followed to use it.
  • Camosun College Copyright Advisor (Young Joo, can help you copyright check readings, create links to ebooks and journal articles and more.

Rapidly Shifting Your In-Person Course to Online: Copyright Considerations

Recording video of yourself, Streaming lectures, etc.

  • Slide Images
    • Just as it is legal to show slides with images in class, it is generally legal to show them to students using live video conferencing or recorded videos, as long as your new course video is being shared through a password protected course website like D2L.
    • Many instructors routinely post a copy of their slides as a file for students to access after in-person course meetings. In most cases, faculty will own the copyright in or have license to use their slides. However, if you are incorporating third-party materials into your lessons, they should be in keeping with the Fair Dealing Guideline or other license agreements associated with this content.
  • In-lecture use of audio or video
    • Here, the differences between online and in-person teaching can be a bit more complex. Playing audio or video of legally-obtained physical media (music or audio visual materials like DVDs or CDs for example) during an in-person class session is permitted under Section 29.5 of the Copyright Act. However, that exemption generally doesn't cover playing the same media online.
    • If you can limit audio and video use for your course to relatively brief clips, you may be able to include those in lecture recordings or live-casts using your institution's fair dealing guidelines in the Copyright Act. At Camosun College we have the the Fair Dealing Guideline that allows you to use up to 10% of a copyrighted work to be distributed to students in your class only. For media use longer than brief clips, you may need to have students independently access the content outside of your lecture videos. Some further options are outlined below.
      • Where to post your videos
        • There may be some practical differences in outcomes depending on where you post new course videos. Kaltura provides storage and streaming of videos and can be restricted to the students in your class only. You can also post videos within your D2L. If you already use services like YouTube to teach, remember to continue to be copyright compliant. Please note that it is more likely that videos posted on YouTube may encounter some automated copyright enforcement, such as a takedown notice, or disabling of included audio or video content. These automated enforcement tools are often incorrect when they flag audio, video, or images included in instructional videos. If you encounter something like this that you believe to be in error, you can contact Young Joo <> for assistance.

Course readings and other resources

  • Hopefully, by mid-semester, your students have already gotten access to most assigned reading materials. As always, Camosun College E-Book Collections can help with getting things online - linking to Libraries’ licensed resources, finding ebooks where available, and much more. You can also request the most recent PDF file of your Course pack from Camosun College Print Shop.
  • If you want to share additional materials with students yourself as you revise instructional plans, or if you want students to share more resources with each other in an online discussion board, keep in mind some simple guidelines below.
    • It's always easiest to link!
      • Linking to publicly available online content like news websites, existing online videos, etc. is rarely a copyright issue (Better not to link to existing content that looks obviously infringing itself - Joe Schmoe's YouTube video of the entire "Avengers: Endgame" movie is probably not a good thing to link to). But linking to most YouTube videos, especially ones that allow sharing and embedding, should be fine. Linking to subscription content through the Camosun College Library is also a great option. Much of the library’s licensed content will have DOIs, PURLs, or other "permalink" or “persistent link” options, all of which should work even for off-campus users. Consult the Troubleshooting e-resources: Persistent links, or contact the library directly for assistance via or through the Library Ask a Librarian.
    • Sharing copies and scanning Making copies of new materials for students (by downloading and uploading files, or by scanning from physical documents) can present some copyright issues, but they're not different from those involved in deciding whether to share something online with your students when you are meeting in-person.
  • At Camosun College, faculty and instructors are encouraged to read and apply the the Fair Dealing Guideline of Camosun College when they are making decisions about when they think they can make copies for students to post to D2L. Library staff members are available to help faculty understand the relevant issues (contact for more help.)
  • Some app tools that you can use to easily digitize fair dealing amounts of material from your phone to post to D2L are Genius Scan, Adobe Scan. Please keep in mind that you can make any scanned PDF files more accessible for your students by using ALLY on D2L that can be used to convert "non-selectable" text files into machine-readable or recognized text. Please contact for further information. 
  • When an instructor needs to make more copyrighted material available to students than the Fair Dealing Guideline allows library staff in Camosun College E-Book Collections can assist faculty in making these determinations and can also help you seek formal copyright permissions to provide copies to students – but there may be some issues with getting permissions on short timelines.
  • An alternative way to find course materials is to look online for free to use teaching resources like Open Educational Resources Open Resources page on Camosun LibGuide. Just remember to attribute!
  • You can also search Camosun College Library which has a large collection of journals and many ebooks that can support on-line learning. In fact, many content providers have recently increased access to a variety of materials to ensure broader access by campuses. Camosun College Subject/Liaison Librarians can also help!!

Multimedia viewing/listening

  • Showing an entire movie or film or musical work online does represent more of a copyright issue than playing it in class – but there may be options for your students to access it independently online. Camosun College already has quite a bit of licensed streaming video content Media Streaming collections which you are welcome to use in your online course. Remember you can still link to content!
  • Streaming content is not usually listed in the library catalogue, where you find DVDs; or Single Search, where you find eBooks and other digital content. If you have been searching for online/streaming media and not finding what you are looking for please check either: Streaming media guide or the list of streaming databases.
  • If you have checked all nine of our streaming databases and you still cannot find what you need please contact the Media Librarian: Ally Flynn.
  • We may be able to purchase streaming access for additional media, but as this takes time, standard commercial streaming options like commonly subscribed to services like Netflix, Crave or Disney Plus that students may also subscribe to and can access using their own accounts may sometimes be the easiest option – though some students may not have access to those services. (For exclusive content, the commercial services may be the only option.)
  • DVDs are still available from the library in case you are planning on-campus activities for your class. Due to copyright/public performance restrictions DVDs cannot be played Online (eg. Blackboard/D2L/Kaltura)
  • For more assistance, please contact Copyright Advisor Young Joo <>.

Ownership of online course materials

  • Ownership of Intellectual Property Guidelines under Commercialization of Intellectual Property of Camosun College affirms that faculty members own the copyright in their academic works, including instructional content. Some units and departments have different policies around ownership of course materials at the unit level, but you would likely already be aware of that if it is applicable. Some units may also have some shared expectations of shared -access- to course video for continuity of educational experiences, without those expectations affecting the ownership of the materials. Instructors may want to include language in their course management site or course syllabus that makes it clear that students cannot reuse or re-post their instructor’s course materials without permission.
  • College policies also affirm that students own the copyright in their own coursework. Instructors can require them to submit it in particular formats, but the students continue to own their works unless a separate agreement is signed by the student. Please note that students should be aware that posting instructors content from your course to on-line course sharing sites like OneClass or Course Hero can be perceived as an academic integrity issue under Student Conduct of Camosun College.
  • Consult the Camosun College Copyright Advisor (Young Joo, if you have other questions about copyright.

Credit of the page

Creative Commons License This resource has been adapted for Canadian universities by the Canadian Association of Research Libraries from material prepared by the Copyright Office, University of Minnesota document Copyright Services, Rapidly shifting your course from in-person to onlineUnless otherwise noted, all content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License. We would like to acknowledge some contribution of adaptation language from University of Toronto Scholarly Communications & Copyright Office and Ryerson University Library.