1. Can faculty and students copy from the Internet?

Yes educational institutions, teachers, and students may save, download, and share publicly available Internet materials, as well as use that material in the classroom and communicate it to students if they cite their source. Students and educators are required to cite the source of any Internet materials they use. 

“Publicly available” materials are those posted on-line by content creators and copyright owners without any technological protection measures, such as a password, encryption system, or similar  technology intended to limit access or distribution, and without a clearly visible notice prohibiting educational use.  

Routine classroom uses may be made of publicly available Internet materials, such as incorporating on-line text or images into homework assignments, performing music or plays on-line for  peers, exchanging materials with teachers or peers, or reposting a work on a restricted-access course Web site.


2. Can faculty copy for instruction?

Faculty can copy (or take any other necessary action) in order to display a work protected by copyright. This permits the use of  whiteboards and similar tools, overhead projection using a device such as an LCD screen, overhead, opaque, or slide projector, provided  the work is used for the purpose of education and training and is not already commercially available in a medium that is appropriate for  this purpose.

3. Can faculty copy for tests and examinations?

Faculty in Canada may copy, translate, communicate electronically, show, or play any copyright-protected work for a test or examination, provided the work is not already commercially available in an appropriate medium for the purpose of a test or examination.

4. Can faculty provide students handouts in class?

Yes, a single copy of a short excerpt from a copyright protected work may be provided or communicated to each student enrolled in a class or course:

  • as a class handout
  • as a posting to SAM
  • as part of a course pack.

Remember that both faculty and students are required to cite the source of any materials they  handout or use in class. 

5. Can I show a feature film, documentary or Youtube clip in class?

The Copyright Act permits showing an audiovisual work such as a DVD or video as long as the work is not an infringing copy or the person responsible for the showing has no reasonable grounds to believe it is an infringing copy. 

Faculty can show audiovisual works in their classroom for educational purposes that is

  • purchased or rented from a retail store
  • borrowed from the library
  • a copy borrowed from a friend 
  • a YouTube video

Showing movies from subscription services (ie Netflix) in the classroom is governed by the terms of the agreement between the subscriber and the subscription service. If the agreement provides that use is limited to “personal” or “household” use, for example, then classroom use is not permitted under the agreement.

Faculty cannot copy an audiovisual work at home and then show it in the classroom. This would be considered an infringing copy.  


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