Copyright is not one right but a series of distinct rights.
In general, copyright means:
While each of the rights is different, and many apply to only certain types of works, in every instance the right is a ‘sole right’. This means that the owner of the right can not only do the thing specified, but can also exclude others from doing it without permission.
The Canadian Copyright Act is the body of legislation that outlines these rights.
When does copyright take effect?
Protection under copyright laws is automatic in Canada: as soon as an original work has been fixed in some tangible form. That can include: being written down, saved to a computer hard drive, or scribbled on a scrap of paper.
A certificate of registration of copyright is also recommended, as evidence that the copyright is registered to the owner. International treaties also protect Canadian copyrights in most foreign countries.
Be sure to mark your creation with the recognized © symbol as well as your name and the year created.
How long does it last?
Copyright generally lasts for 50 years after the death of the author (or the last surviving author). After this period of time, a work enters the public domain and copyright no longer applies.
ex. Shakespeare died on April 23, 1616, copyright would last for the entire year of his death plus 50 years, his works became part of the Public Domain in 1667.
Copyright applies to (for example):
Copyright does not apply to:
Copyright applies to the expression of an idea, not the idea itself.
In today's Information Age the preservation of copyright is a major concern for many producers and publishers of media. Medicine Hat College Library Services has prepared this guide to help you understand the basics of copyright in the academic environment. It should be noted that this is a basic guide only, and is not a substitute for legal advice in this complicated and dynamic field of Canadian law.
Copyright directives at the Medicine Hat College conform to the prescribed laws and practices in the Copyright Modernization Act, 2012; as well as a number of court decisions and licensing agreements. The Copyright Act and court decisions prescribe what and how users are entitled to do with copyright materials. The College has voluntarily signed licensing agreements with various collectives that collect fees from us and distribute them to the rights holders they represent.
The Copyright Modernization Act that was approved in November 2012 moved to make the Copyright Act technologically neutral. That means exceptions previously available to educational institutions for print materials are now available to educational institutions for Projection Slides, PowerPoint’s and Blackboard.
Education has also been added to the Fair Dealing exception which increases the number of materials available for use in the classroom.
To comply with copyright, always include:
MHC and Book Sections, Newspapers, Sheet Music, and Artwork in the Classroom (s.29)
Under Fair Dealing the following can be copied for use in the classroom:
MHC and Journal Articles in the Classroom (s.29)
Making copies of journal articles in print or electronic format is okay if the Fair Dealing guidelines are followed. Occasionally journals have attached a disclaimer to their material stating that no copies can be made, they cannot be posted electronically, or they forbid persistent links. If you encounter any of these disclaimers on any material you would like to use for your course contact the Copyright Officer.
MHC and Student Work in the Classroom
Instructors using work done by past students should ensure that they have written permission from the student. See the suggested Student Consent Form under the Forms section.
MHC and Internet resources in the classroom (s. 30.04 (1) - (6))
Most content on the internet is protected by copyright however the Copyright Modernization Act has given instructors liberal guidelines to follow when using information from the internet for instruction purposes. See the Internet section on the drop down menu.
MHC and Instructor Materials in the Classroom
Instructor created materials can be freely copied for classroom use. The College maintains a license for the copyright of course materials created by instructors during the term of their employment (see MHC Intellectual Property and Copyright Policy).
Works created by the Federal, Provincial and Territorial Government with the exception of Manitoba, Quebec, and Nunavut are available to be freely copied for educational purposes. Many of these works include statutes, regulations, and judicial decisions. All of the following criteria must apply:
MHC and Internet in the Classroom (s. 30.04 (1) - (6))
Most material available on the Internet is protected by copyright. This includes text, images, photographs, music, video clips, and computer software. However new sections have been added to the Copyright Act to allow educational institutions, for educational purposes, to reproduce, communicate and perform for students works that are available on the internet. The work or internet site cannot be copied if:
*Education has recently been added to exceptions provided by Fair Dealing. This means that small amounts of a work can be copied for educational purposes. Read more on Fair Dealing under the Fair Dealing section.
*Linking is almost always allowed! A link is not considered a copy so copyright does not apply.
MHC and YouTube in the Classroom (s. 30.04 (1) and (2))
YouTube is allowed to be played in the classroom. Streaming video from the YouTube site itself is a best practice however embedded videos from YouTube are allowed as long as embedding is not protected by a technological protection measure. Videos on YouTube have a share button available under the video. If an embed code is available embedding the video is permitted if it is not available embedding is not allowed. The following criteria must apply:
MHC and Netflix in the Classroom
MHC and Films in the Classroom (s. 29.5 (d))
The Copyright Act now allows educational institutions to show films without purchasing public performance rights. All of the following criteria must apply:
Music/Videos can be obtained from any of the following:
MHC and Live TV or Radio in the Classroom (s. 29.5 (c))
It is not an infringement of copyright for an educational institution to show a live broadcast in class. The following criteria must apply:
MHC and Recorded News or News Commentary in the Classroom (s. 29.6)
A single recorded copy of news or news commentary can be shown. The following criteria must apply:
Documentaries may be played in the classroom if the video is obtained from one of the following:
You CAN NOT make your own recording of a documentary and then show it in the classroom.
What is a News or News Commentary program?
A news program is a program reporting on local, regional, national, and international events as they happen, and includes weather reports, sportscasts, community news, and other related features or segments contained within the news program.
A news commentary program is a program containing discussions, explanations, analysis, observations or interpretations of the news and having a preponderance of the following elements: "talking head(s)"; minimal editing; minimal "shelf life" in its original form; and, if in interview or panel discussion format, unscripted responses.
MHC and Other Recorded TV or Radio in the Classroom (s. 29.7)
It is lawful to make a single copy of all other types of broadcast programs (i.e., those that are not news or news commentary programs). An instructor may examine the copy for up to 30 days, to determine whether the copy will be used on College premises for educational purposes. If the copy is shown at any time (including within the 30-day evaluation period) or if it is not erased after 30 days, details must be recorded so that payment can be made. The following criteria must apply:
Less than 30 days
Over 30 days
Why is it important to report which programs you record?
To comply with the Copyright Act, Medicine Hat College must contact the copyright owner and pay any applicable royalties for the use of broadcast programming in the the classroom. As much notice as possible is required to allow the Copyright Officer to contact the copyright owners.
If you copy a program (that is not considered news or news commentary) for use in your class, you must report the copying and showing of the program and include the following information: 1. Title of program; 2. Date of recording; 3. Length of recording; 4. TV Station call letters [eg. CHAT, CBC, etc]; 5. Date to be shown in class; Number of students in class.
MHC and Music in the Classroom (s. 29.5)
The Copyright Act allows educational institutions to play music without paying to license the music. The following criteria must apply:
Music can be obtained from any of the following
*Under Fair Dealing one musical score can be copied if it is part of a work containing other musical scores (29). Individual music scores cannot be copied without permission.
MHC and Music OUTSIDE of the Classroom
If you or your students are planning an event on campus outside of your regular classroom activities where music will be played please contact the Copyright Officer.
When music is played for non-educational purposes the college must pay royalties. MHC regularly reports to SOCAN (the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada) and Re:Sound. To complete accurate reports the Copyright Officer must be notified of any event on campus where music will be played.
MHC and Performances in the Classroom (s. 29.5)
The live performance of a dramatic piece is allowed under the Copyright Act if the following criteria apply:
The copying of scripts for dramatic productions is not allowed. Permission to copy must be obtained or numerous copies must be bought.
Access Copyright vs. York University Update
In early July 2017 the Federal Court released its long awaited decision on the Access Copyright v. York University case. Unfortunately, the decision was in favor of Access Copyright, it will impact practices at MHC.
The two issues at stake in the Federal Court case were as follows:
The Court found:
As we await further guidance from the courts, MHC will continue to assess its own policies and practices. A forum has been set up on Source to address any questions faculty and staff may have.
Please direct any requests for information to Kim Unrau, firstname.lastname@example.org 403.529.3835