Can I make copies of copyright-protected works to hand out to students in class? Can I include copies of another person’s images and materials in my PowerPoint presentations?
Can I post copies of copyright-protected works to Moodle? Can I e-mail copies to students enrolled in my courses?
Is there any difference between posting something on my own website versus posting something on Moodle?
I’ve come across a recent journal article that I want to give out to my students. Can I photocopy it and hand it out to them?
May I upload a PDF of a journal article I obtained through the library’s e-journals to Moodle for my students to read?
May I scan a print journal article or a book chapter into a PDF and post it on Moodle?
Can I play music in class?
Can I play videos in class?
Can students include copyright materials in their assignments and presentations?
Are there any databases of copyright materials that I can use for free without worrying about copyright?
Is it okay to use images or other material from the Internet for educational purposes?
Do I need to ask permission to link to a website?
I gave a PowerPoint presentation in class which includes figures, charts, diagrams, and other images from a textbook. Can I post it on Moodle? I’ll be sure to cite where the figures came from.
May I post examples of my students’ work on Moodle or on my personal website?
  

Can I make copies of copyright-protected works to hand out to students in class? Can I include copies of another person’s images and materials in my PowerPoint presentations?
Yes. Under fair dealing you may make copies of another person’s works and hand them out to students enrolled in your course. Under fair dealing you may also include another person’s work, including images, in your PowerPoint presentations that you display to students enrolled in your course. In both cases, you must adhere to the amount that may be copied under fair dealing. Please see the fair dealing advisory for the copying limits.
 
ClassCan I post copies of copyright-protected works to Moodle? Can I e-mail copies to students enrolled in my courses?
Yes, you can do both if you adhere to the amount that may be copied under fair dealing. Please see the fair dealing advisory for the copyright limits.

Note however that in some instances a copyright-protected work is made available under a digital license that prohibits certain uses such as posting an electronic article to Moodle. Any such restrictions will take precedence over fair dealing. Please contact University Librarian Marc Truitt at 364-2567 or mtruitt@mta.ca for information about such restrictions.

Is there any difference between posting something on my own website versus posting something on Moodle?
Yes. Posting something on your own website means you are making the work available world-wide. Wide distribution tends towards the conclusion that the dealing is not “fair” and such uses may not be covered by any University licences. By contrast, Moodle is a password protected, secure website accessible only by students enrolled in University courses. In some cases, posting material on Moodle will be covered by one of the University’s electronic subscriptions. The key thing to remember is just because you may post a copyright-protected work to Moodle doesn’t mean you have permission to post the work on your own personal website.

I’ve come across a recent journal article that I want to give out to my students. Can I photocopy it and hand it out to them?
Yes. The fair dealing advisory permits the copying of an entire journal article. Copies may be handed out to the students enrolled in your course or you may scan and post a copy of the article to Moodle.

Keep in mind that allowable use of ejournal articles is governed by a licence, which may prohibit certain uses such as posting an electronic article to Moodle. Any such restrictions will take precedence over fair dealing. Please contact University Librarian Marc Truitt at 364-2567 or mtruitt@mta.ca for information about such restrictions.

May I upload a PDF of a journal article I obtained through the library’s e-journals to Moodle for my students to read?
In some instances the journal article is made available under a license that prohibits posting to Moodle. Please contact University Librarian Marc Truitt at 364-2567 or mtruitt@mta.ca for information about such restrictions.

The licences for some e-journals provided by the library allow instructors to upload articles into secure course management systems such as Moodle. While there may be good reason to upload articles to Moodle, it is important to consider that doing so may mean that your students do not have the most recent version of the article. It is not unusual for publishers to make corrections or changes, such as adding supplementary material, to articles after initial publication. If such changes are made after a copy has been uploaded they will not be reflected in that copy. A direct link is the best way to ensure access to the most recent version of an article.

Even in cases where uploading and linking to articles in Moodle is permitted by the licences, it is important to remember that licences generally do not permit you to upload to a website, or create links on a website, that is not part of the University’s secure network, and that is open to the world at large. None of the licences that the library has with publishers allows for uploading to, or linking from, websites that allow access without authentication.
 
May I scan a print journal article or a book chapter into a PDF and post it on Moodle?
As long as you adhere to the amounts that may be copied under fair dealing you may scan and post it on Moodle. See the fair dealing advisory for the copying limits. It’s important to note that fair dealing does not allow you to scan material and add it to a website unless that website is password protected (e.g. Moodle) and restricted to students enrolled in your course. If you want to scan a copyright protected work for inclusion on an open website, you will need to obtain permission from the right’s holder.
 
Can I play music in class?
Yes! The Copyright Act allows you to play a sound recording or live radio broadcasts in class as long as it is for educational purposes, not for profit, on University premises, before an audience consisting primarily of students. However, if you want to use music for non-educational purposes, for example, for background music at a conference or in an athletic facility, a licence must be obtained from the copyright collectives the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN) and Re:Sound.

Can I play videos in class?
You may play videos in class in the following circumstances:

  • You may show a film or other cinematographic work in the classroom as long as the work is not an infringing copy, the film or work was legally obtained, and you do not circumvent a digital lock to access the film or work.
  • If you want to show a television news program in the classroom, under the Copyright Act, educational institutions (or those acting under their authority) may copy television news programs or news commentaries and play them in class.
  • You may perform a work available through the Internet, e.g. YouTube, videos, except under the following circumstances:
    • The work is protected by digital locks preventing their performance
    • A clearly visible notice prohibiting educational use is posted on the website or on the work itself
    • You have reason to believe that the work available on the Internet is in violation of the copyright owner’s rights
     

Can students include copyright materials in their assignments and presentations?
Generally yes. Since fair dealing now includes education, students may include limited amounts of material in their assignments and presentations. See the fair dealing advisory for details about amounts allowable under fair dealing.
 
Are there any databases of copyright materials that I can use for free without worrying about copyright?
Yes. There's a wealth of material out there that is either in the public domain or available under what is known as Creative Commons licensing, which generally means the work is available for free, subject to certain limited conditions, such as non-commercial use only and acknowledgment of the author.

For Creative Commons materials, visit the Creative Commons website for more information or check out their content directories which list audio, video, image, and text materials available under Creative Commons licensing. For public domain material, simply search online for “public domain” and the type of material you’re interested in. Some useful sites include Project Gutenberg (the largest collection of copyright-free books online) and Wikipedia, which has an entire page dedicated to public domain resources.
For other online materials, a recommended best practice is to check the website’s "Terms of Use" or "Legal Notices" section to confirm what conditions apply to use of the website’s material. In many cases, you may be able to use the material for free for non-commercial and educational purposes.
 
Is it okay to use images or other material from the Internet for educational purposes?
Materials on the Internet are treated the same under copyright law as any other copyright materials, so if you want to use them, they either have to fall within one of the Copyright Act's exceptions (such as fair dealing or the educational use of the Internet exception), or be open access or in the public domain. If what you want to use isn’t from an open access or public domain source and does not fall into one of the Act's exceptions you will have to obtain permission from the copyright owner. Note: the person who posted the material may not be the copyright owner and may not have the right to grant you permission to use the material. If this is the case, you should not use the material unless you can identify and obtain the copyright owner's permission.

Even if your use is non-infringing under the Copyright Act, your use may represent a breach of a website's “Terms of Use”, “Legal Notices”, or similar section. You should check those sections to confirm what conditions apply to use of the website's material, and whether additional consents are required.
 
Do I need to ask permission to link to a website?
Content on the web is copyrighted in the same way as print and other formats, even if there is no copyright symbol or notice. Linking directly to the web page containing the content you wish to use is almost always permissible, although you should check the website’s “Terms of Use”, “Legal Notices”, or similar section to ensure linking is not prohibited. You should always include the full details of the author, copyright owner, and source of the materials by the link. This will avoid any suggestion that the website is your own material or that your website is somehow affiliated with the other site.

Regardless of whether you obtain (or do not need) permission to link to a website, if you have reason to believe that the website contains content posted without the permission of the copyright owner, you should avoid linking to it.
 
I gave a PowerPoint presentation in class that includes figures, charts, diagrams, and other images from a textbook. Can I post it on Moodle? I’ll be sure to cite where the figures came from.
As long as you adhere to the amounts that may be copied under fair dealing you may post charts and diagrams from textbooks, or other works, on Moodle. If for example, you wish to post multiple images from a book, you may do so as long as those images amount to no more than 10 per cent of the book (see the fair dealing advisory). It’s important to note that if you wish to post such material to a website that website must be password protected or otherwise restricted to students enrolled in your course.

Please note that just because you acknowledge the author and source of a work doesn’t mean you won’t be liable for copyright infringement. Acknowledging the source is no defence if the way in which you’ve used the work is not permitted under the Copyright Act. So make sure you either fall within an exception or have the copyright owner’s permission.
 
May I post examples of my students’ work on my Moodle course or on my personal website?
Only if you have the student’s permission as students own the copyright in the works they create. The University does get the right to make copies of the work for academic purposes, but this right does not extend to making it available online. Accordingly, you should ask students in advance whether they consent to having their work posted online and keep written records of the permissions given.

 

Adapted from Waterloo Copyright FAQ by University of Waterloo Copyright Advisory Committee, licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International Licence.