Skip to main content


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


As a student, during the course of your study at Royal Roads University, you can use copyright-protected works without getting permission as long as you follow our Fair Dealing Policy The policy and related guidelines available in this guide are comprehensive, and we can appreciate that, at first glance, it may seem overwhelming.  Here to get you started is a quick overview.

Note:  If you have questions about copyright and your thesis, please see 'Copyright Information for Thesis and Dissertation Publication' on the Library webpage.

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

Note:  Use of the Library's electronic resources (e-journals and e-books) is not governed by fair dealing, but rather by licence agreements with the various vendors.  Please contact the copyright office if you have questions about their use.

WHERE you can use the copies:

  • For your own private study or research 
  • 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)
  • Journal articles from the Library’s electronic resources:  viewing and printing a single copy of a journal article for your own use
  • E-books from the Library’s electronic resources: viewing the full e-book and printing up to 10% for your own use
  • 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 get permission from the copyright owner first. 

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
  • Using an open website (not Moodle) to reproduce third-party readings or other resources intended to be part of a 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

If you have any questions, just contact us by email: or give us a call at 250-391-2652.

Copyright and your thesis or dissertation

Contact Us

Copyright Office: