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Copyright Information & Resources

Copyright FAQ

1)What can I copy?

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 70 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. 

2) What is Fair Dealing?

Fair dealing is an exception under the Copyright Act (Section 29) that allows an individual to, within limits, reproduce works without permission or payment.  To qualify for fair dealing two tests must be passed. 

Test #1: Is the dealing for one of these broad purposes as set out in the Copyright Act?

  • research
  • private study
  • education
  • parody
  • satire
  • criticism
  • review
  • news reporting

Test #2: The Copyright Act and the Supreme Court of Canada (CCH vs Law Society of Upper Canada, 2004 SCC13) has provided a six-factor test for determining whether a particular use or dealing is fair.  These 6 factors are:

  • the purpose of the dealing: the purpose must fall within one of the eight broadly defined categories outlined above;
  • the character of the dealing: this looks at the number of copies.  Making a single copy from a work for each member of a defined group is likely to be fair.  this also looks at whether the copy is destroyed after it is used for its intended purpose;
  • the nature of the work:  Is the work intended to be disseminated widely?  Is it published or unpublished?
  • the amount or proportion of the copying; how much of the work was copied.
  • the effect of the copying on the work: Will the copy compete with the commercial market value of the original work? 
  • the availability of alternatives: including whether there is a non-copyrighted equivalent available.

3) How do I get permission to use someone else's work?

You will need to ask the copyright owner. This could be an author, publisher or artist.

4) Can I upload a journal article to my D2L site?

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.

5) Can I use images?

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.   

Please check out the Images section on our Copyright Guide for more information.

6) Can I show a movie in class?

As an instructor, you also have the right to play videos in class that you find on the Internet, provided:

  • the video appears to have been posted legitimately (i.e. with the consent of the copyright owner)
  • there is no clearly visible notice on the video or the website prohibiting you from playing the video in class
  • there is no technological protection measure preventing you from accessing or copying the video (e.g. it's not on a password-protected website)
  • and when you play it in class, you acknowledge the author and source of the video