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Copyright

A guide to copyright for Royal Roads University faculty, students, and staff.

Overview

Our copyright policies and procedures (see the links to the left) are comprehensive and clear to follow, but we can appreciate that, at first glance, it may seem overwhelming.  Here, to get you started, is a quick overview.

WHAT you can copy (without having to clear permission and pay royalties) – aka fair dealing copying:

  • Up to 10% of a work, or one single book chapter, one article from a periodical, a newspaper article, or an entry from a reference work (e.g. encyclopedia)
  • An entire image or poem from a source containing other images or poems

WHERE you can use the copies:

  • In a print coursepack
  • In the classroom as a handout
  • On a Moodle course site as a PDF or other document.  Note that this does not include any site that is not password-protected or overseen by the University.
  • In a presentation (e.g. PowerPoint) in the classroom or on Moodle

What else is permitted:

  • Linking to e-books and e-journals in the Library’s electronic resources (this means URLs only, not PDFs)
  • Showing a legitimate copy of an audiovisual work in the classroom (no bootleg copies!)
  • Playing or performing music in the classroom
  • Making a ‘mash-up’ of published works (provided they are not copyright-infringing themselves) and posting it on Moodle (with credits to the original author)
  • Copying beyond the fair dealing parameters noted above as long as you clear it through the Copyright Office first!  Note that there may be fees for permissions, and it can take several weeks to process.

What is not permitted:

  • Copying beyond fair dealing parameters without permission
  • Copying a reading from the Library’s electronic resources and posting it on Moodle, on any other website, or distributing it in class or in a print coursepack
  • Using an open website (not Moodle) to reproduce third-party readings or other resources intended to be part of your course
  • Using infringing sources to make your readings (e.g. reproducing or linking to a book that has been scanned and posted on the internet without permission of the publisher)
  • Breaking a ‘digital lock’ in order to make a copy – even if it would otherwise be a fair dealing copy

Procedures to follow:

  • Post all readings and other resources on the ‘readings’ page within Moodle.  (Your program associate and/or your instructional designer can help you with this.)
  • Complete all resources selection at least 6 weeks before the course starts.

Copyright in the Classroom

PLEASE NOTE: This section only applies to uses of works in your physical classrooms – it does not apply to the online classroom or any internet use.  Please refer to the "Digital" tab f you have questions regarding these uses.

  1. Can I include other people’s images and materials in my PowerPoint presentations? What if I want to provide copies of the presentation to my students?
  2. I’ve come across a recent journal article and/or several pages from a book that I want to distribute to my students. How can I distribute these materials to my students?
  3. Can I play music in class?
  4. Can I show movies, news programs or videos in class?
  5. Are there any databases of copyrighted materials that I can use for free without worrying about copyright?

CAMPUS CLASSROOM

1.      Can I include other people’s images and materials in my PowerPoint presentations? What if I want to provide copies of the presentation to my students?

Under the educational exceptions within the Copyright Act, you may make copies of works to display in a classroom presentation on RRU premises for educational and training purposes, provided that the work is not already available in a commercial format in the Canadian market within a reasonable time and for a reasonable price, in a medium appropriate for educational or training purposes.

You may record the lecture, either as a video-recording or “voice-over PowerPoint” and post the recording of the lecture onto RRU’s secure course management system for your students to access.

You can only post a copy of the presentation into RRU’s secure learning management system or provide physical copies of the presentation to your students, if the third party copyrighted material within your presentations qualifies as “Short Excerpts” under the RRU Fair Dealing Policy.

2.       I’ve come across a recent journal article and/or several pages from a book that I want to distribute to my students.  How can I distribute these materials to my students?

You may make copies of works to hand out to each student in your classroom or post copies of such works into RRU’s secure course management system, if they qualify as “Short Excerpts” in accordance with the RRU Fair Dealing Policy. If you want to provide articles or excerpts from a book to students on a regular basis, for example, every year that you teach the course, and you know what articles or excerpts you want to include in advance, you can consider creating a course pack instead.

3.       Can I play music in class?

Yes.  If you are faculty, staff or such other person that is acting under the authority of RRU, the Copyright Act allows you to play a sound recording or live radio broadcasts in class as long as it is for educational or training purposes, not for profit, on RRU premises and before an audience consisting primarily of students, faculty or any person who is directly responsible for setting a curriculum for RRU.

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 SOCAN and Re:sound.

4.      Can I show movies, news programs or videos in class?

You can show the following works in class, as long as it is for educational or training purposes, not for profit, on RRU premises and before an audience consisting primarily of students, faculty or any person who is directly responsible for setting a curriculum for RRU:

  • a movie or other cinematographic work, provided that the work is not an infringing copy (i.e. legally obtained or purchased), and you do not circumvent a Digital Lock (see FAQ 3.3) to access the work
  • a video or other subject matter that is available through the Internet, e.g. available on YouTube, as long as you satisfy the following criteria:
    • you do not break or circumvent a Digital Lock to access or obtain a copy of the work (see FAQ 3.3);
    • there is no clear and visible notice on the website or on the work itself that prohibits the use or reproduction of the work (more than just a copyright symbol);
    • the website is not questionable, infringing or clearly using the works without the copyright owner’s consent; and
    • you identify the source of the work and, if available and applicable, the author, performer, maker or broadcaster of the work.
  • a copy of a news program or news commentary program (excluding documentaries) made by you or RRU for the purposes of performing the copy to RRU students for educational or training purposes.

5.       Are there any databases of copyrighted materials that I can use for free without worrying about copyright?

Please see FAQ 3.8 for more information about materials from the internet that can be used for educational or training purposes within the classroom.

Please note that works that are subject to Creative Commons licensing, generally means the work is available for free, subject to certain conditions specified in the licence, 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.

 

Text derived from Waterloo Copyright FAQ by University of Waterloo, licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.5 Canada Licence.

Frequently asked questions about copyright and the Royal Roads University course management system (Moodle) and other digital classroom environments:

  1. Is there any difference between posting something on my own website versus posting something on RRU’s course management system (Moodle)?
  2. What about if I want to email something to my students?
  3. What is a Digital Lock?
  4. May I post a PDF of a journal article I obtained through the library’s e-journals, or a book chapter, to RRU’s course management system for my students to read?
  5. I gave a PowerPoint presentation in a class lecture which includes materials from a textbook (including multiple graphs and images), as well as articles and photos from various RRU Library e-journals.  Can I post a video or audio recording of the class lecture (such as a recorded voice-over PowerPoint of the lesson) on RRU’s course management system? I’ll be sure to cite where the figures came from.
  6. What are the “best practices” that I should follow anytime that I post copyrighted materials on RRU’s course management system?
  7. If I distribute two “short excerpts” of a textbook, one distributed as a class handout on the first day of class and one posted on my the RRU course management system on the last day of class, are these considered to be separate instances of “fair dealing”?
  8. Is it okay to use images or other material from the internet for educational purposes?
  9. Do I need to ask permission to link to a website?
  10. May I post examples of my students’ work on my RRU’s course management system?
  11. I adopted a textbook for my course, and the book representative gave me instructional materials, including images, PowerPoint files, etc.  Can I distribute any of those materials to my students on paper or on the RRU course management system?

1.          Is there any difference between posting something on my own website versus posting something on RRU’s course management system (Moodle)?

There is an important distinction between publicly accessible websites, and websites that are not publicly accessible.  RRU’s course management system is a password protected, secure website that is restricted to and accessible only by RRU students segregated by the specific course, class or program.  By contrast, most private websites are publicly accessible, in the sense that anyone may visit it, not just your students.

Posting short excerpts of material on Moodle may be permitted by one of RRU’s digital licences, or in accordance with the RRU Fair Dealing Policy, for the purposes of research, private study, education, parody, satire, criticism, review, news reporting, education, parody or satire.  In other situations, you will likely need to obtain consent from the copyright owner.

By contrast, posting a copyrighted work on your own website or some other publicly accessible website would generally be considered to be copyright infringement, unless it was done with the copyright owner’s consent.

An important thing to remember is that just because you have permission to post copyrighted materials on RRU’s course management system does not mean that you have permission to post the same materials on your own personal website or any other publicly accessible website.

Please note that some RRU digital licenses do restrict the making or dissemination of copies and limit fair dealing rights. Therefore, if an RRU digital license only grants specific, limited usage rights, and the Fair Dealing Policy gives more generous usage rights, the more limited terms of the RRU digital licenses apply

2.          What about if I want to email something to my students?

You may email short excerpts of copyrighted materials to your students.  (Please review the Fair Dealing Policy for what constitutes a short excerpt.)   If the materials have been posted on RRU’s secure course management system, you can also e-mail a link to those posted materials to your students (who would then login to Moodle to access the materials).

3.          What is a Digital Lock?

The Copyright Act refers to “technology protection measures”, which are commonly known as TPMs or digital locks. The term describes any technology, device or component that controls or restricts the access to or copying of a work (for example, password protection).

The Copyright Act prohibits the circumvention of digital lock that restricts or controls access to a work.  This means that if there is a digital lock that restricts or prevents access to the work, you must not circumvent the digital lock to access the work, even if you would have be able to copy the work relying on an exception to infringement to reproduce or use a copyrighted work in your classroom, or to post a copy onto a course management system (such as any of the educational exceptions, or the fair dealing exception).

4.       May I post a PDF of a journal article I obtained through the library’s e-journals, or a book chapter from an e-book, to RRU’s course management system (Moodle) for my students to read?

No.  Generally speaking, posting a PDF of an article from an electronic periodical publication or a chapter from an e-book to RRU’s secure course management system is prohibited by the terms of RRU’s digital licences.  Posting a PDF of a journal article or a single book chapter from a legitimately-obtained print source may be possible under the Fair Dealing Policy.

Frequently, it is possible to provide links to electronic journal articles and e-books.  In the Library’s experience, a direct link is the best way to allow your students to have access to the most recent version of an article.  This is because it is common for publishers to make corrections or changes, such as adding supplementary material, to articles after initial publication.

Using a hyperlink to an article also allows the RRU Library to track use and obtain data about the importance of a particular journal to the campus.  

It is important to remember that the RRU Fair Dealing Policy and RRU digital licences generally do not permit you to upload to a website, or create links on a website, that is not part of RRU’s secure network, and that is open to the world at large.

5.       I gave a PowerPoint presentation in a class lecture which includes materials from a textbook (including multiple graphs and images), as well as articles and photos from various print journals and e-journals.  Can I post a video or audio recording of the class lecture (such as a recorded voice-over PowerPoint of the lesson) on RRU’s course management system?  I’ll be sure to cite where the figures came from.

The Copyright Act allows educational institutions to communicate lessons (which includes parts of lessons, tests or examinations) on-line, to students enrolled in a specific course, for education or training purposes, and record such lessons, as long as the inclusion of any third party copyrighted materials in such lessons is allowed under another exception under the Copyright Act, e.g. fair dealing or other educational exceptions (the “Lessons Exception”).  The student can also make a copy of such telecommunicated lesson to be viewed or listened to at a later time, as long as:

  • the student and the institution must destroy the recording, fixation or copy within 30 days after receipt by students of their final course evaluations;
  • the institution must take reasonable measures to limit the audience to students only (e.g. secure password-protected access only), and to prevent the students from fixing, reproducing or communicating such lessons except as permitted under this exception.

The recordings cannot be sold, rented or distributed widely (beyond the audience of students enrolled in the class) or to the public, in any way that prejudices the copyright owner.

This exception would allow you to post a video or audio recording of your class lecture, including a recorded voice-over PowerPoint of the lesson, on RRU’s secure course management system, as long as you comply with the destruction and other requirements described above, and the “best practices” mentioned below.

6.      What are the “best practices” that I should follow anytime that I post copyrighted materials on RRU’s course management system (Moodle)?

If you wish to rely on the fair dealing or other educational exceptions to post copyrighted materials on RRU’s course management system, you need to ensure that such postings are subject to reasonable safeguards to prevent students from distributing, transmitting or disseminating such materials to persons outside the course or class.  At a minimum, you should abide by the following best practices and limitations:

  • You are strongly encouraged to provide access to Library e-resources, such as full text journal articles, through the use of stable links.
  • You are also strongly encouraged to use Moodle to distribute and post course materials;
  • Unless you have the copyright holder’s permission to do so, only materials that are either “Short Excerpts” (as defined in the Fair Dealing Policy) may be posted onto Moodle;
  • Copies made for the purposes of criticism, review or news reporting must include a credit to the author and source of the materials;
  • Making Short Excerpts available in the students’ choice of format is acceptable, as long as all of the stipulations in the Fair Dealing Policy are met;
  • Only include materials that are reasonably necessary for the purpose of the course and try to limit it to as few materials as possible within the definition of “Short Excerpts”;
  • Restrict access to the course management system site to students enrolled in your specific course or class.  Examples of access restrictions are password protection or other secure authentication process which identifies the student at the time of login.  The Moodle course management system provides suitable access restrictions.
  • Include a clearly visible notice on all materials you post that states:

“This copy is made solely for your personal use for research, private study, education, parody, satire, criticism or review only. Further reproduction, fixation, distribution, transmission, dissemination, communication, or any other uses, may be an infringement of copyright if done without securing the permission of the copyright owner. You may not distribute, e-mail or otherwise communicate these materials to any other person.”

  • Remind your students to protect their passwords, so that unauthorized users cannot access RRU’s course management system.
  • If you have posted into a course management system or otherwise telecommunicated a recording or a copy of lessons, test or exam that contains third party copyrighted material, you must comply with the provisions of the Lessons Exception.
  • When uploading materials directly into Moodle, confirm the copyright authorization(s) that apply to the material(s) on the metadata form.

7.       If I distribute two “short excerpts” of a textbook, one distributed as a class handout on the first day of class and one posted on my RRU course management system (Moodle) on the last day of class, are these considered to be separate instances of “fair dealing”?

There should be no copying of the same copyrighted work beyond the “Short Excerpt” limits (as defined in the Fair Dealing Policy).  Therefore, if you are copying different Short Excerpts from one book, combine all copying instances to determine whether you fall within the “Short Excerpt” limitations.  Copying or communicating multiple Short Excerpts from the same copyright-protected work with the effect of exceeding the copying limits under “Short Excerpt” definition would be considered systemic or cumulative copying, which is strictly prohibited.

8.          Is it okay to use images or other material from the internet for educational purposes?

Materials on the internet are treated the same way under copyright law as any other copyrighted materials, so if you want to use them, you have to either fall within one of the Copyright Act’s exceptions or have permission from the copyright owner.

There is an educational exception available under the Copyright Act which allows you to use, copy, e-mail or perform these internet materials for classroom presentations, or for posting into an RRU secure course management system (for educational or training purposes), as long as you satisfy the following three criteria:

1.       you do not break or circumvent a digital lock to access or obtain a copy of the work;

2.       there is no clear and visible notice on the website or on the work itself that prohibits the use or reproduction of the work (more than just a copyright symbol); and

3.       the website is not questionable, infringing or clearly using the works without the copyright owner’s consent.  Please note that you must also identify the source of the work and, if available and applicable, the author, performer, maker or broadcaster of the work.

9.          Do I need to ask permission to link to a website?

Generally no, but you should check the website’s ‘Terms of Use’ section to confirm whether it has any specific linking prohibitions.  If there are none, you may link to the website but make sure that you do not “frame” the other webpage or any content from the other webpage.  If the web-page does not clearly identify the website and content owner, you should also 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.  You should also avoid linking to websites that illegally share copyrighted materials or do not appear to be legitimate.

10.    May I post examples of my students’ work on my RRU course management system?

Only if you have obtained the student’s permission.  However, if the work contains third party copyrighted materials, you will also need to determine whether such materials fall within the Fair Dealing Policy, or whether you or the student may need to obtain consent from the copyright owner to post such materials into Moodle.

It is a good practice to ask students in advance whether they consent to have their work posted onto RRU’s course management system and keep written records of the permissions given.

11.    I adopted a textbook for my course, and the book representative gave me instructional materials, including images, PowerPoint files, etc.  Can I distribute any of those materials to my students on paper or in my RRU course management system?

If such materials are short excerpts that do not exceed 10% of the textbook in accordance with the Fair Dealing Policy, then you may distribute them as a class handout or post these materials onto one of RRU’s secure course management system.  You may need to check with your textbook representative for further information on this matter.

 

Text derived from Waterloo Copyright FAQ by University of Waterloo, licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.5 Canada Licence.

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Contact Us

Copyright Office:  
copyrightofficer@royalroads.ca

Copyright Manager:
Melanie Wrobel (ph. 250-391-2652) - Away on leave.

Please contact Rosie Croft, University Librarian, in her absence (ph. 250-391-2699)

Library Assistant, Copyright:  
Natalia Morrison (ph. 250-391-2668)

Library Assistant:
Selina Tang (ph. 250-391-2600, ext.4349)