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Copyright

This guide provides information to Capilano University employees and students regarding copyright, licence agreements, and related topics. This guide does not provide legal advice.

Students and Copyright

As members of the CapU community, students are expected to abide by the Copyright Act and Capilano University policies. They may also take advantage of the same user rights, exceptions, and resources as instructors, such as:  

  • Fair dealing 
  • Educational exceptions 
  • General exceptions
  • Openly licensed resources 

The majority of student work is covered under exceptions in the Copyright Act because it is for educational and non-commercial purposes.

Each of the above concepts are explained further below. 

General User's Right in the Copyright Act

Non-Commercial User-Generated Content
The Non-Commercial User-Generated Content (Section 29.21) allows users to transform an existing work (or several works) in the creation of a new work, provided:

  • It is for non-commercial purposes
  • Source information is given
  • The original work was not infringing copyright (i.e. it is not an illegal copy)
  • The new work does not have a negative impact (financial or otherwise) on the existing work

Some examples of re-uses that might be covered in this exception are mash-ups, collages, remixes, and sampling. 

The Non-Commercial User-Generated Content exception is a general exception in the Copyright Act, which means it can be used outside of an educational setting. 

Always check a resource's license agreement or terms of use before including it in an assignment or ePortfolio, as individual website's terms-of-use may be more limiting than traditional copyright. See the Individual Website Licenses/Terms of Use section of this guide for more information. 

Educational Exceptions in the Copyright Act

  1. Fair Dealing
  2. Publicly-Available Materials on the Internet

1. Fair Dealing

Fair dealing is a user's right in the Copyright Act that allows the use of short excerpts of copyright protected work without payment or permission from the copyright holder.

To determine if a use is fair, the Supreme Court of Canada has issued a six factor test. Note: in some cases you do not have to answer positively to all six factors, although factor one (purpose) is always essential. 

  • Purpose: Is the purpose allowed under the Copyright Act’s fair dealing exception? The eight allowed purposes are research, private study, education, parody or satire, criticism or review, or news reporting?
  • Character: Is the character of the dealing a single copy or multiple copies?
  • Amount: How much of the copyright work is being used? See below for details on what qualifies as a 'short excerpt'.
  • Alternatives: Is there a reasonable alternative to making a copy?
  • Nature: Is the work published, unpublished, confidential, etc.?
  • Effect: What is the economic effect of copying the work? Will the copy of the work compete with the original work?
 
What is a short excerpt? 

The Copyright Act does not define short excerpt, but according to the Capilano University Fair Dealing (Copyright) Policy a short excerpt means:

  • Up to 10% of a copyright-protected work (including a literary work, musical score, sound recording, and an audiovisual work)
  • One chapter from a book
  • 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 poems or musical scores
  • An entire entry from an encyclopedia, annotated bibliography, dictionary or similar reference work

 


2. Publicly-Available Materials on the Internet

Publicly-Available Materials on the Internet (Section 30.04) allows you to reproduce, share, or stream a work available on the internet, including images, provided:

  • The use is for educational or training purposes
  • The work is not protected by a digital lock or technological protection measure
  • There is no clearly visible notice prohibiting use for educational purposes
  • There is no suspicion that the work has been posted on the Internet without the consent of the copyright owner

The source and, if provided, the author, performer, maker, or broadcaster must be cited.


Licensed Resources

Always check a resource's license agreement or terms of use before including it in an assignment or ePortfolio, as individual website's terms-of-use may be more limiting than traditional copyright. See the Individual Website Licenses/Terms of Use section of this guide for more information. 

Assignments and ePortfolios

Assignments and ePortfolio are created for educational purposes and therefore may qualify for fair dealing and educational exceptions, as long as the necessary conditions are met. There are two additional considerations when looking at copyright compliance and assignments/ePortfolios.  

  1. Where is the Assignment or ePortfolio published?  

    Fair dealing and educational exceptions are less risky when the work is not widely disseminated.

    If students are publishing their assignments or ePortfolio to a platform where only the instructor and students in the class can view them, there should be no additional copyright issues. If students are expected to publish their work where it can be accessed by the public, fair dealing and educational exceptions may no longer apply. 

  2. How is the work being used after graduation?  

    When it comes to student's use of copyrighted works, fair dealing and educational exceptions only apply while the student is in school. If after graduation a students wants to use their assignment or ePortfolio for a different purpose (ie. post on a public website or for commercial purposes), any educational exceptions they used may not apply to the new use. 

    In these cases, it is best to ensure student's remain copyright compliant outside of fair dealing and educational exceptions. Openly Licensed Materials and general copyright exceptions, like the Non-Commercial User-Generated Content exception, can be a great asset for students hoping to use their assignments and ePortfolio outside of an educational setting. 

 

After Graduation/Future Use of Works

Copyright is context specific. After graduation, if a student wants to use their assignment or ePortfolio for a use other than education (ie. post on a public website or for commercial purposes), any educational exceptions they used may not apply to the new use.

If a student wants to use their project after graduation, suggest relying on general copyright exceptions and openly licensed resources so the end product will remain copyright compliant for future uses. See the Openly Licensed Materials section for more information. 

Individual Website Licenses/Terms of Use

Licenses take precedent over the Copyright Act.

A common practice is for individual websites to create their own license or terms-of-use Always check a resource's license or terms-of-use to determine how the item can be used, before including it in an assignment or ePortfolio. What can be done with a resource governed by a license agreement is often more limited than what can be done under traditional copyright.

Some exceptions are Creative Commons (CC) licenses or other open licenses, which allow more flexibility than traditionally copyrighted materials. It is still important to review the type of CC license on a work, as some do not allow derivative works. See the Openly Licensed Materials for more information. 

Openly Licensed Materials

One way to ensure student's work is copyright compliant, and remains so after graduation, is to use openly licensed materials in the creation of the work. Visit the Open Educational Resources - Images, Videos, Sound Recordings guide for a list of websites with openly licensed materials: 

There are many different types of open licenses. Always review the license on a material to understand how a resource can be used. 

Creative Commons Licenses

It is important to understand what can be done under each Creative Commons (CC) license. Some CC licenses have a 'share alike' component, which means all subsequent works must be published with the same CC license. Others have a non-commercial or a no derivatives component. More information about Creative Commons licenses

Individual Website Licenses/Terms of Use

A common practice is for individual websites to create their own license or terms-of-use. If a website does not use Creative Commons licenses, always refer to their license or terms-of-use page to understand how their materials can be used. 

Attribution

Creative Commons License
The Assignments and ePortfolios page of the Capilano University Library Copyright Guide by Capilano University Library was developed with help from the Langara Library's Copyright for Instructors website and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.