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Copyright guide for Camosun College: Copyright Basics

Common Terms

Fair Dealing:

Is a user's right in copyright law permitting use, or "dealing" with, a copyright-protected work without permission of payment of copyright royalties. The fair dealing excpetion in the Copyright Act allows you to use other people's copyright material for the purposes of research, private study, criticism, review, news reporting, education, satire or parody.

The full detail of the education exceptions can be viewed in sections 29.4 to 29.9 of the Copyright Act.

Public Domain:

Refers to works in which copyright has either expired or where the copyright owner has clearly specified that the work may be used without their explicit permission. Copyright protection may still apply to more recent editions, arrangements or adaptations of works in the public domain since copyright on public domain material is created when new content (footnotes, critiques, etc.) is added to the original material.

Further Detail: Copyright Term and Canada's Public Domain Chart

 

Library Guides Content (Red Deer College Library) / CC BY-NC-SA 2.5

Copyright Term and Canada's Public Domain Chart (University of Alberta) / CC BY 2.0 CA

Common Questions

1. Who do I talk to if I have a copyright question?

2. What does copyright cover?

3. How long does copyright last?

4. What are copyright owners' rights?

5. What is Access Copyright?

6. How can faculty encourage copyright awareness in the classroom?

7. What is fair dealing and how does it relate to copyright?

8. Does fair dealing cover teaching?

 


 1. Who do I talk to if I have a copyright question?

YoungKyu Joo, Copyright Advisor 

JooY@camosun.bc.ca

2. What does copyright cover?

Copyright is a legal framework that protects creators of literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works, as well as sound recordings, performances and communication signals. This encompasses a wide range of formats including books, articles, CDs, DVDs, software, and websites. 

Copyright protection exists as soon as a work is created.

3. How long does copyright last?

The terms of copyright protection apply differently in various countries. In Canada, copyright protection generally applies to a work for the life of the creator, plus 50 years. In Europe and the United States, copyright protection generally lasts for the life of the creator, plus 70 years. After the copyright expires, a work enters the Public Domain, although copyright protection may still apply to more recent editions, arrangements or adaptations of the work. Also don't assume that everything you find on the Internet is in the public domain just because it is publicly available. 

For more information about duration of copyright protection in Canada see the Government of Canada's Guide to Copyright 

Use of a work in Canada is governed by the Canadian rules for the duration of the copyright protection.

4. What are copyright owners' rights?

Copyright owners have a number of legal rights, including the right to copy and translate a work and the right to communicate a work to the public by telecommunication. Certain exceptions apply to these rights that are meant to balance copyright holders' interests with broader public interests, primarily the use of works for purposes such as teaching and research.

5. What is Access Copyright?

Formerly known as CanCopy, Access Copyright is a Canadian reprographics collective managing the copyright of the authors and publishers who comprise their membership.

Effective September 1, 2012, Camosun  College no longer has a license with Access Copyright, nor are we operating under the interim tariff with Access Copyright.

6. How can faculty encourage copyright awareness in the classroom?

Talk about copyright, plagiarism and intellectual property in your classes.

Include copyright information on your course syllabus. The following is a sample paragraph you can use or adapt:

Print and electronic materials are protected by copyright legislation. It is your responsibility to become aware of the legal uses of copyright-protected materials and to ensure that your use of these materials complies with copyright obligations. .

Encourage and expect copyright-friendly standards for student work. Copyright-friendly assignments will:

  • cite all print and graphical/multimedia items (e.g. using APA, MLA etc.)
  • show copyright holders' information on multimedia objects = ©
  • use alternatives to copyright-protected multimedia:
    • Create your own images, sounds, videos 
    • take original photos
    • instead of "borrowing information from a website, provide a link 
    • Look for open resources, materials created with a Creative Commons license

Remind students that, although fair dealing or educational exceptions may grant the right to reproduce without permission, they do not grant the right to adapt or modify materials, nor to change the format of materials.

7. What is fair dealing and how does it relate to copyright?

Fair dealing permits the use of a copyright-protected work without permission from the copyright owner or the payment of copyright royalties. The fair dealing excpetion in the Copyright Act allows you to use other people's copyright material for the purposes of research, private study, criticism, review, news reporting, education (full detail of the education exceptions can be viewed in sections  29.4 to 29.9 of the Copyright Act), satire or parody providing the use is "fair."

Whether the use is "fair" will depend on the circumstances. Some criteria to consider to determine if the use is fair:

  • the purpose of the dealing (Is it commercial or research / educational?)
  • the amount of the dealing (How much was copied?)
  • the character of the dealing (What was done with the work? Was it an isolated use or an ongoing, repetitive use? How widely was it distributed?)
  • alternatives to the dealing (Was the work necessary for the end result? Could the purpose have been achieved without using the work?)
  • the nature of the work (Is there a public interest in its dissemination? Was it previously unpublished?)
  • the effect of the dealing on the original work (Does the use compete with the market of the original work?)

It is not necessary that your use meet every one of these factors in order to be fair and no one factor is determinative by itself. In assessing whether your use is fair, a court would look at the factors as a whole to determine if, on balance, your use is fair.

For further clarity and additional information about limits on the amount and nature of copying permitted under fair dealing in certain contexts, please see the Fair Dealing Guidelines prepared by legal counsel for ACCC (Association of Canadian Community Colleges).

8. Does fair dealing cover teaching?

Yes. While fair dealing doesn’t specifically mention teaching it does mention education. The Supreme Court of Canada has also ruled that a teacher may make copies of short excerpts of copyright-protected works and distribute them to students as part of classroom instruction without prior request from the student under the fair dealing exception. 

Some content in this guide has been copied and adapted from a Copyright FAQ from the University of Waterloo under a Creative Commons Attribution -Noncommercial 2.5 Canada Licence. 

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