FAQ

1. Are there any educational exceptions that I can use in my teaching?
2. How do I provide electronic materials to my students?
3. Is everything on the Internet in the public domain and therefore fair game?
4. Can I bring a movie from home or from a video store and show it in class?
5. Can I embed YouTube videos in my course website?
6. Am I permitted to use Netflix in the classroom?
7. If I am the creator/author of a work can I use the work in a coursepack?
8. What if a book I want to copy is out of print?
9. What if I hand out copies of my PowerPoint slides and there are copyrighted images/material on the slides?
10. What copyright licenses does the university have and how do I access them?
11. What is a coursepack? Can I use a coursepack in my course?
12. Can I put a textbook for my course on reserve?

1. Are there any educational exceptions that I can use in my teaching?

As per the Copyright Act, the following are permitted for educational institutions in Canada:

Faculty and instructors are permitted to make use of materials in ways that other users are not for the purpose of providing education and instruction on the premises of an educational institution.

Using materials in the classroom

Faculty members, teaching staff, and instructors are permitted to reproduce a work in order to display it for the purposes of education. This includes, for example, scanning an image in a textbook for inclusion in a PowerPoint presentation. 

Instructors can play sound recordings for students on the premises of an educational institution, as long as the copy of the work is not an infringing copy. 

Instructors may also play radio or television programs live when they are being broadcast. This includes webcasts.

In the classroom, educators and instructors are permitted to reproduce and communicate works available on the Internet (provided that the works are not protected by “digital locks,” there is no notice specifically prohibiting the intended activity, and the work has not been made available in violation of the copyright owner’s rights).

It is permissible to show a film or other cinematographic work as long as it is for educational or training purposes and as long as the work is not an infringing copy.

Instructors may copy news and news commentary from radio and television broadcasts for educational use.

Distance Education

Lessons, including tests and exams, may be recorded and communicated to students enrolled in the course, provided that the recording or copy is destroyed within 30 days after the end of the course and the institution takes measures to limit the audience to only students and to protect the lesson itself.

Examinations

An exemption existst that allows the copying of copyright material for testing and examination purposes.  Material protected by copyright can be reproduced, translated, preformed, or broadcast on university premises for a test or exam.

Performances

Performances of works such as plays or music can be performed live by students without infringing copyright if the performance takes place on the university premises and the audience is primarily students or instructors of the school.
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2. How do I provide electronic materials to my students?

Legislation allows educators to copy, distribute, communicate, or perform works found on the Internet provided that: 

1. The work is properly cited (e.g. source, author, performer, maker, and/or broadcaster)
2. The work is publicly available (e.g. access is not restricted or password-protected)
3. There is no clearly visible notice (not just the copyright symbol alone) prohibiting the intended use
4. It is apparent that the work was made available in violation of the copyright owner’s rights

For complete information, please refer to the university’s Copying Guidelines (under the heading: Using content from the Internet).


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3. Is everything on the Internet in the public domain and therefore fair game?

No. Internet materials are subject to the same copyright laws as any other materials.

New legislation allows educators to copy, distribute, communicate, or perform works found on the Internet provided that:

1. The work is properly cited (e.g. source, author, performer, maker, and/or broadcaster)
2. The work is publicly available (e.g. access is not restricted or password-protected)
3. There is no clearly visible notice (not just the copyright symbol alone) prohibiting the intended use
4. It is apparent that the work was made available in violation of the copyright owner’s rights

For complete information, please refer to the university’s Copying Guidelines (under the heading: Using content from the Internet).


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4. Can I bring a movie from home or from a video store and show it in class?

Yes, as long as it is a legal and commercial copy, being played for the purpose of education, the audience is primarily students, and no profit is gained. There is no longer a need to ensure a public performance license is in place.
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5. Can I embed YouTube videos in my course website?

You may show the video in class and post a link to the video on your course website, as long as you have embedded the player and not the video. We recommend always using links to avoid complications. Do not link to any material that you know, or suspect, has been illegally posted.
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6. Am I permitted to use Netflix in the classroom?

Two exceptions have been introduced in the new copyright legislation that relate to this situation:

  • The ability to use works available on the Internet, provided certain conditions are met
  • The ability to show legal, commercial copies of films/videos for education, without having to obtain public performance licenses

The complexity is that any Netflix account is password-protected, which would be considered a technological protection measure (aka "digital lock"). So, although it is available on the Internet, the presence of the digital lock prevents using that exception. And, although it is a legal copy, it would not likely be considered a commercial copy.

Netflix Terms of Use states "the Netflix service, and any content viewed through our service, are for your personal and non-commercial use only and we grant you a limited, non exclusive, non transferable, license to access the Netflix service for that purpose." Additionally the Netflix End User License Agreement notes that your membership allows you and the members of your immediate household use of the Netflix services.  From this, we must conclude that you would need to obtain permission from Netflix in order to show the content to your students. [Note: We contacted Netflix with a generic inquiry as to whether educational institutions are permitted to show Netflix content in the classroom, but the response was non-committal and did not explicitly say one way or the other.]

We recommend that you check YouTube, or any other publicly accessible site, for availability of the clip you wish to use. Other options would be to contact CCDE to see if your title falls under the licenses to which the university is still subscribed, or to buy or borrow a physical commercial copy of the video (such as VHS, DVD or Blu-Ray).


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7. If I am the creator/author of a work can I use the work in a coursepack?

If you hold copyright then you have the authority to grant permission for the use of the work (in a coursepack, handout etc.) unless you have assigned your copyright to a publisher or any other party.


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8. What if a book I want to copy is out of print?

Although a book is out of print that does not mean it is no longer protected by copyright. Fair dealing for educational uses allows making copies of "small excerpts." If a substantial portion is required (see the Fair Dealing Guidelines for limitations), it is best to contact the publisher to either request permission to use the material and/or determine whether the work is still under copyright or has become public domain.


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9. What if I hand out copies of my PowerPoint slides and there are copyrighted images/material on the slides?

University of Saskatchewan faculty own the copyright to their lectures as per the USFA collective agreement. However, you may not own the copyright to all of the content within your lecture. Generally any copyrighted material you use is allowed for educational purposes through exceptions to the Copyright Act. This also includes providing the material in the virtual classroom (e.g. course website or course management system).

It is important that access to the material is limited to the students enrolled in the course and that the limits of the fair dealing guidelines are respected. If you need to make use of a greater volume of material than that which is permitted through fair dealing, you must seek express permission from the copyright holder to post that content. Be sure to keep a copy of any permissions you receive.


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10. What copyright licenses does the university have and how do I access them?

Check out the Library's usage rights search tool (http://library.usask.ca/find/index.php) or contact your liaison librarian for more information about library-licensed e-resources. Some colleges or departments have purchased licenses that permit use material specific to their particular area of study.


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11. What is a coursepack? Can I use a coursepack in my course?

A coursepack is a compilation of works from more than one source that are bound together. The Bookstore can assist you in producing a coursepack by negotiating with the publishers or copyright holders for the material you wish to use. The cost of coursepacks can vary depending on copyright fees, the number of pages and documents, and the volume of coursepacks being produced. Those costs are generally reflected in the selling price of the coursepack.

Please contact the Bookstore for more information on how to create a coursepack, as well as important deadlines.

Note: Obtaining clearances for materials can take quite some time (an average of 6-8 weeks) so ensure you submit your requests early to be assured that your coursepack will be available in time. You will need to comply with any deadlines as set out by the Bookstore and Printing Services.


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12. Can I put a textbook for my course on reserve?

Yes, original works can be placed on reserve without concern for copyright clearance.  The library currently reviews course textbook lists and places items held in the collection on reserve to ensure the best access for students.

You may add a non-original copy of a work to the library reserve system according to the copying guidelines to a maximum of 3 copies for every 30 students. Reserves must be for supplemental readings only and cannot be more that 25% of required readings.


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