Canada's Copyright Law protects the rights of the creators and owners of literary, dramatic, music and artistic works. Copyright law sets the rules governing the reproduction and distribution of such works.
In general, you can make a copy of a work without payment or permission if the work is:
Public domain material As a general rule, a work is protected by copyright in Canada for the life of the creator plus 50 years after his or her death (50 years begins at the end of the calendar year of the authors death). In the case of multiple authors, it is 50 years after the last author's death. After this period of time, the work enters into public domain.
Open Access material: material presented for public use - including Open Access publications, works placed in Institutional Repositories and works under Creative Commons licenses can be copied with minimal restrictions. (From the Revised CAUT Guidelines for the Use of Copyrighted Materials February 2013)
Licensed Material: the library licenses many databases, indexes, e-journals and ebooks for its staff faculty and current students. Access to these resources is governed by contractual agreements with resource providers. The LU License Database provides information about what you are permitted to do with particular licensed resources. Resources in this database are generally listed by package, not by journal. To find permissions for a particular journal, search Lakehead's E-Journal Titles. Once you select a title, usage terms are listed for each available provider of a journal. Please note that the license terms for a journal may vary depending on the provider.
Original Content: Any content you write and own can be used as you like. If you are the author of a journal article that was published, you may not own the rights to the article. Check the license agreement you signed with the publisher of the article. Creative Commons copyright licenses are available so that you may retain copyright while allowing others use of your creative work.
Government of Canada or Government of Ontario Materials: Government of Canada or Ontario material may be reproduced for personal of public non-commercial purposes unless there is a specific indication to the contrary attached to the work. Permission is required to revise, adapt or translate a work or to reproduce it for commercial distribution. Materials produced by other governments in Canada and around the world are subject to similar rules.
Publicly available Internet Material: Unless indicated otherwise all material available online is subject to copyright under the Canadian Copyright Act. You may copy works available on the public web and share with your students provided that you properly attribute the source and author of the work; the work is not protected by a digital lock; there is no clearly visible notice prohibiting what you want to do and the work is legitimately posted on the Internet by the copyright holder.
Fair Dealing: The Copyright Act states that fair dealing for the purposes of research, private study, criticism or review, education, parody or satire, or news reporting does not infringe copyright. A further Six Factor test should be applied to determine the use of the work and is described in the Fair Dealing section of this guide.
The Library works with instructors to provide students with access to course readings and related materials (e.g. books, book chapters, articles, textbooks, etc.) in both physical and electronic formats. For more information see Course Reserves - Information for Instructors
Linking to Articles (Durable Links)
It is possible to link the full text of a library-owned article by creating durable and shareable links to the original version. Creating Durable Links to the Library's Electronic Materials Guide shows you how to turn an unreliable URL into a static one that will work anywhere (including off-campus) and anytime.
Journal and Database Permissions
Permissions by Journal Title: To find permissions for a particular journal, search Lakehead's E-Journal Titles. Once you select a title, usage terms are listed for each available provider of a journal. Please note that the license terms for a journal may vary depending on the provider.
Permissions by Database License: Check License Database for information about what you are permitted to do with particular licensed resources. Resources in this database are generally listed by package, not by journal
When it is not possible to provide access through any of these options, you can request permission from the copyright owner. For assistance please contact your Liaison Librarian.
Faculty wishing to have a course pack may send their requests to the Library through our online Course request form.
Please note that it might take 2-8 weeks if copyright clearance is required.
Images (including figures, graphs, photos, charts and diagrams) are subject to copyright protection. In most cases, images found on the Web are protected by copyright unless clearly stated otherwise. Check the website’s fine print (ie “Terms of Notice” or “Legal Notices”) to find any restrictions or limitations for the use of the image. In some cases it may be possible to use images through licence terms, or under an exception in the Copyright Act. When using images consider the following as sources for obtaining your images:
If you are the creator of an image you can use the image provided that you own the copyright. If you have published the image check your publishing agreement to determine if you have assigned copyright to the publisher.
The Library provides access to several databases that offer images. Examples include:
Ask your Liaison Librarian for licensed image databases that may be applicable for your subject area.
Resources for Images (with fewer copyright restrictions):
Wikimedia Commons a database of freely usable media files to which anyone can contribute
Free Images Free images is a high-quality resource of digital stock photography for use by all. All images in our collection are free to use on websites, printed materials and anywhere you need photos for illustration and design use.
Shared Shelf Commons A free, open-access library of images. Search and browse collections with tools to zoom, print, export, and share images.
Creative Commons Licences
As a general rule, a work is protected by copyright in Canada for the life of the creator plus 50 years after his or her death (50 years begins at the end of the calendar year of the authors death). In the case of multiple authors, it is 50 years after the last author's death. After this period of time, the work enters into public domain. When copyright has expired images are in the public domain and are free to use without permission.
Copyright and image Manipulation
Follio has an excellent infographic explaining copyright and image manipulation. It mainly discusses US and some UK copyright laws but could be very helpful in understanding this topic.
Public Performance Rights
Changes to the Copyright Act in 2012 now allow instructors to show films in the classroom without a public performance license or permission. As a result, the Library no longer holds public performance licenses with licensing collectives. The Library does provide access to various films through subscriptions to video streaming services.
Instructors may play films in class provided it is for educational purposes, not-for-profit, and before an audience consisting primarily of students. You must however ensure that the copy of the film being shown is not an infringing copy (illegally downloaded movie or pirated DVD) or there are no reasonable grounds for believing it is infringing.
As an instructor, you also have the right to play videos in class that you find on the Internet, provided:
News/News Commentary Programme
Under the Copyright Act it is possible to make a copy of a news or news commentary program (television or radio, excluding documentaries) and show it in class as often as needed as long as the audience consists primarily of University students on university premises for educational purposes only.
It is possible to make a single copy of a non-news program (television or radio). You may keep this copy for 30 days to preview and decide if it will be useful for educational or training purposes. Provided that all royalty fees are paid as set by the Copyright Board, you may show the recording as long as the audience consists of University students on university premises for educational purposes only.
DVD Recording: You may play a DVD recording of a non-news program provided the DVD is not an infringing copy and that you have no reasonable grounds to believe the DVD copy is an infringing copy.
In all cases careful records detailing when copies of a television or radio program were made, performed in public and destroyed must be made.
Under a new exception to the Copyright Act, you have the right to play videos in class that you find on the Internet provided:
It is important to check all videos posted on the Internet carefully for information regarding their use. If permission is not granted on a page then you must try to obtain permission. YouTube videos can be used if the copyright owner uploaded the video onto YouTube. If it is a commercial or a television program on YouTube then any use of this will likely be an infringement of copyright. Check the YouTube Copyright Center for more information.
Playing Music in the Classroom
Instructors may play music in the classroom, according to the Copyright Act, providing that:
Multiple Copies to Distribute in Class
It is possible to distribute copies of an item to all the students in your class provided that the item you want to distribute is considered fair under the “Fair Dealing” exception and passes the six-factor test.
Under an exception in the Canadian Copyright Act, it it not an infringement of copyright to project a work using an overhead projector or similar device for the purposes of education or training on the premises of an educational institution.
Section 29.4(2) allows the University (or a person acting under its authority) to reproduce, translate, perform in public or communicate to the public by telecommunication, without motive of gain, a work as required for a test or exam. Any performance of the work in public or communication of the work by telecommunication to the public must take place on the premises of the University. Further, if the work is “commercially available” in a medium suitable for the purpose, and if its use is not covered by fair dealing or another exception, a licence must be obtained before using it for a test or exam.
Posting your own materials
You can publish your own slides, notes, course outlines and any publications for which you have obtained copyright permission.
Posting Library E-Resources
Some Library database licences allow for direct posting to D2L. You will need to check the Library’s Licence Database.
Under all circumstances it is possible to link to an article within D2L by using a durable link.
In most cases uploading copyrighted material to an open website is not permitted.
Some journals licensed by Lakehead will allow you to post scanned copies of articles on D2L. To determine what a journal license allows, go to our E-Journals site, search the journal title, select it and check the permissions indicated on the resulting screen.
Scanning an item to post in D2L may also be permitted under one of the exceptions in the Copyright Act (Fair Dealing or Education Exception). If this does not apply you will need to obtain permission from the copyright owner.
Website Materials:Under the “Education Institutions” exception (Section 30.04) it is possible to use website materials provided that the materials has been posted legitimately by or with the consent of the copyright owner. The source must be named. Ensure that there is no notice stating that the site cannot be used