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How to Research: Consider Copyright

Just getting started on a research paper or project? Don't know where to start? This is the guide for you!

Consider Copyright

A copyright is a set of legal rights that authors have over their work for a limited period of time.

Copyright protects the expression of an idea rather than the idea itself. It does not matter whether a poem is written on a napkin, saved on a computer hard-drive or engraved on a wooden plank, all formats are considered expressions and are protected by copyright, including objects on the Internet.

The author of a work is usually the copyright owner. Only the copyright owner has the right to reproduce, perform or publish a work.

Copyright at MHC

Public Domain

Works in the public domain are not protected by copyright and can be copied freely.

These include:

  • ideas, facts or news
  • an insubstantial part of any work
  • works where copyright has been waived
  • titles, names, slogans and short word combinations

Fair Dealing

Fair Dealing is a user right in the Canadian Copyright Act. Fair Dealing involves making a single copy of an entire work, or a substantial part thereof, for the purpose of:

  • research
  • private study
  • criticism
  • review
  • news reporting

If you are unsure if your use of the work constitutes Fair Dealing, err on the side of caution and obtain copyright permission.

Creative Commons

"Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that increases sharing and improves collaboration."

You can use their Creative Commons Search to help you find licensed works that you can share, remix, or reuse.

MHC Copyright Officer

Chelsey Ehresman's picture
Chelsey Ehresman
Office: B117 in the Library
Phone: 403.529.3835