Copyright is the legal protection of literary, dramatic, artistic, and musical works, sound recordings, performances, and communications signals. Copyright provides creators with the legal right to be paid for — and to control the use of — their creations. In Canada, copyright is protected through the federal government's Copyright Act.
Canada's copyright law has become clearer and easier for teachers and students to follow. As a result of federal copyright legislation passed by the House of Commons in June 2012 and a Supreme Court decision brought down in July 2012, new rules have been set for the educational use of both publicly available and copyright protected materials.
The updated federal copyright law includes an amendment on the educational use of the Internet, which allows students and teachers to use publicly available Internet materials for their learning and educational pursuits without violating copyright.
The July 2012 Supreme court decision clarified what 'fair dealing’ means, thereby allowing teachers in Canada to make copies of short excerpts of a copyright-protected work for students in their classes without having to ask for copyright permission or pay copyright royalties.
The following resources provide greater information on the topic of copyright, to help you understand your responsibilities when it comes to the reproduction and dissemination of materials in your classroom.
Copyright Matters! covers items from the Canadian Copyright Act and its regulations, contractual and tariff arrangements with copyright collectives, and court decisions. The publication is a starting point in increasing awareness of your rights and obligations in selecting and using copyright-protected materials for teaching and learning.
This one-page resource explains the concept of ‘fair dealing’ and provides guidelines for teachers about what they may copy or reproduce.
Copyright Decision Tool
Thinking of using a copyright protected work? Find out if you have permission. This online tool can Aassist you in deciding whether you can use print materials, artistic works or audiovisual materials without getting copyright permission.
Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC)
The CMEC copyright consortium has been working to advance the views of its members on copyright issues related to education. Their website includes a variety of information and resources on the topic, including the publication Copyright Matters!