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Copyright FAQ


A single copy of a short excerpt from a copyright-protected work (paper or digital) may be provided or communicated to each student enrolled in a class or course . A short excerpt means:
- up to 10% of a copyright-protected work (including a literary work, musical score, sound recording, and an audiovisual work);
- one chapter from a book;
- a single article from a periodical;
- an entire artistic work (including a painting, print, photograph, diagram, drawing, map, chart, and plan) from a copyright protected work containing other artistic works;
- an entire newspaper article or page;
- an entire single poem or musical score from a copyright protected work containing other poems or musical scores;
- an entire entry from an encyclopedia, annotated bibliography, dictionary, or similar reference work.
No. Copying, scanning, or printing materials intended for one-time use is strictly prohibited.

“Materials intended for one-time use” are workbooks and exercise books into which a student records answers. These are materials created and intended for each student to have their own copy. Once a student completes the answers, these materials are of no use to another student.

Any copying from materials intended for one-time use exposes the person making the copy, the teacher, the school, and the school board to liability for copyright infringement.

This prohibition does not apply to "reproducibles". A reproducible is not intended for one-time use, but is sold or provided with the rights holder’s authorization to reproduce it for educational use.
The Copyright Act permits showing an audiovisual work such as a DVD or video on the premises of an educational institution provided the following five conditions are met:
- The showing must take place on the premises of an educational institution.
- The showing must be for an audience consisting primarily of students, instructors, or persons directly responsible for setting a curriculum.
- The showing must be for educational or training purposes.
- The showing must not be for profit.
- The copy shown must not be infringing or the person responsible for the performance has no reasonable grounds to believe that it is an infringing copy.
Teachers can show audiovisual works purchased or rented from a retail store, a copy borrowed from the library, a copy borrowed from a friend, or a YouTube video.

Showing audiovisual works for non-educational purposes, such as fundraising or a family movie night, requires permission and the payment of copyright royalties.

Showing movies from subscription services in the classroom is governed by the terms of the agreement between the subscriber and the subscription service. If the agreement provides that use is limited to “personal” or “household” use, for example, then classroom use is not permitted.
The short answer is no. Showing movies from subscription services in the classroom is governed by the terms of the agreement between the subscriber and the subscription service. A teacher wanting to show a Netflix movie would have to log into Netflix using a personal account. The user agreement the individual agreed to when they created the Netflix account prohibits showing movies in a public venue, which may be a contract violation.
School libraries can:
- make a copy for the purpose of cataloguing, internal record keeping, for insurance purposes, or police investigation;
- make a copy for the purpose of restoration;
- use digital technology to deliver an interlibrary loan copy of a copyright-protected work.

Provided a replacement copy is not commercially available in a medium and of a quality that is appropriate for these purposes, school libraries can also:
- make a copy of a work “if the original is rare or unpublished and is deteriorating, damaged, or lost”;
- make a copy of a fragile document or recording for on-site consultation if the original cannot be viewed, handled, or listened to because of its condition;
- make a copy if the original is in an obsolete format, or is in danger of becoming obsolete, or the technology to use the original is unavailable or is in danger of becoming obsolete.
Students with perceptual disabilities, including blind and visually impaired students as well as students with learning disabilities and other physical disabilities, are provided with alternative formats through production centers scattered across Canada. The alternative formats may include audiobooks, Braille, and e-text.

Students, and educational institutions on behalf of students, may make a copy in an alternative format of a literary, dramatic, musical, or artistic work (but not an audiovisual work) in a format designed for a person with a perceptual disability.

Translation, adaptation, and performance in public for the purpose of serving students with perceptual disabilities, as long as the work is not already commercially available in that format, are permitted.

Educational institutions may not make a large-print book for a student with a perceptual disability without permission from the copyright owner.