Skip to main content

Copyright Guidelines

The University of Ontario Institute of Technology respects both user rights relating to use of copyrighted materials and copyright protection of intellectual property and distribution rights of creators and content providers.

Faculty, staff, and students are subject to the protections and obligations outlined in the Copyright Act. Use of copyrighted material is also subject to the provisions outlined in various agreements and licenses the university has with other copyright owners (for example, online databases or other electronic resources).

Members of the University community are responsible for informing themselves about the parameters of both Canada’s Copyright Act and the institution’s licenses and agreements. They must also ensure that any copying completed in connection with University activities complies with these guidelines.

In the absence of such limiting provisions, materials may be reproduced:

  1. In accordance with the fair dealing provisions under the Copyright Act for the purpose of research, private study, criticism, review, news reporting, education, satire or parody.
  2. Where the material is in the public domain, such as when the term of the copyright protection under the Copyright Act has expired (usually the life of the author plus 50 years).
  3. Where only an “insubstantial” part of the material is reproduced, as under section 3(1) of the Copyright Act. Copyright means the sole right to reproduce any substantial part of a work.  In determining whether the portion of the material being reproduced is “substantial” or “insubstantial”, both the quantity, i.e. the amount copied, and the value, i.e. the importance of that portion to the entire work, should be considered.
  4. The following maintenance or management activities in accordance with section 30.1 of the Copyright Act: (1) copying rare or unpublished originals, (2) copying fragile originals, (3) copying into an alternative format, (4) copying for record keeping and cataloguing, (5) copying for insurance and police investigations and (6) copying for restoration.  Making a copy for activities (1), (2) and (3) is not permitted if the work is “commercially available.”

*Adapted from Canadian Library Association Model Policy on Copyright for Libraries

Fair Dealing Guidelines

Copyright Law in Canada protects a wide range of works. As noted in the Act, “copyright”, in relation to a work, means the sole right to produce or reproduce the work or any substantial part of the material, to perform the work or any substantial part of it in public. If the work is unpublished, the copyright holder has the right to publish the work or any substantial part. For further details please refer to the Copyright Act.  

Use of copyrighted works requires permission from the copyright owner unless one of the exceptions in the Copyright Act applies. While the Act contains other exceptions that might apply, “fair dealing” is an important provision within an educational context.

The fair dealing provision outlined in section 29, 29.1, and 29.2 in the Copyright Act permits the use of a copyright-protected work without permission from the copyright owner or the payment of copyright royalties.

To qualify as fair dealing, two tests must be passed:

  1. The dealing must be for a purpose stated in the Copyright Act: Research, private study, criticism, review, news reporting, education, satire or parody. Educational use of a copyright-protected work passes the first test.
  2. The dealing must be “fair”. In landmark decisions made by the Supreme Court of Canada in 2004 and 2012, six factors were outlined that help to determine whether or not the dealing is fair:
    • Purpose of the dealing
    • Character of the dealing
    • Amount of the dealing
    • Nature of  the work
    • Available alternatives to the dealing
    • Effect of the dealing on the work

The following guidelines provide reasonable safeguards for the owners of copyright-protected works in accordance with the Copyright Act and the Supreme Court decisions.

These guidelines assume that the user is working with a copyright-protected work; a University license does not cover the work; and the copying is a substantial part. These guidelines only deal with situations where fair dealing is relevant.

  1. Allowance for university teachers, instructors, professors and staff members to communicate and reproduce, in paper or electronic form, short excerpts (as defined below) from a copyright-protected work for the purposes of research, private study, criticism, review, news reporting, education, satire or parody.
  2. Copying or communicating of short excerpts from a copyright-protected work under these Fair Dealing Guidelines for the purpose of news reporting, criticism or review must mention the source and, if given in the source, the name of the author or creator of the work.
  3. Reproducing 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 a learning or course management system that is password protected or otherwise restricted to students of the university
    • as part of a course pack

The following amounts may generally be considered short excerpts:

    • up to 10% of a copyright-protected work (including a literary work, musical score, sound recording, and an audiovisual work)
    • a single article from a periodical
    • an entire artistic work (including a painting, print, photograph, diagram, drawing, map, chart, and plan) from a copyright-protected work containing other artistic works
    • an entire newspaper article or page
    • an entire single poem or musical score from a copyright-protected work containing other poem or musical scores
    • an entire entry from an encyclopedia, annotated bibliography, dictionary or similar reference work,

provided that in each case, the excerpt contains no more of the work than is required to achieve the allowable purpose.

Note that fair dealing analyses consider all factors, including both the quality and quantity of the dealing.   

  1. Copying or communicating multiple short excerpts from the same copyright-protected work, with the intention of copying or communicating substantially the entire work, is prohibited.
  2. Any fee charged by the university for communicating or copying a short excerpt from a copyright protected work must be intended to cover only the costs of the university, including overhead costs.

There are other exceptions, such as user generated content, which may be relevant should fair dealing not apply or in combination with fair dealing.

If you have a request for material that falls outside of these guidelines, please contact copyright@uoit.ca. Further investigation into the request will follow. 

Course Collections / Course Packs

Course collections are paper copies of published works assembled into course packs or digital copies of published works that are emailed, linked or hyperlinked to, or posted on, uploaded to or stored on a Secure Network as part of a course of study. Consult with the Campus Bookstore for all requests and questions concerning course packs. 

Licensed Databases

For insight into how works within specific licensed databases may be used, look up license details using the Library’s Indexes and Databases A-Z guide. For further information, contact copyright@uoit.ca.

Relevant Links:

Universities Canada – Fair Dealing Policy for Universities

Contact us

chat loading...

blue phone icon

Email the library
University of Ontario Institute of Technology logo