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Copyright & Education

Key Terms

Fair Dealing

  • Fair Dealing is an exception to the exclusive right granted by the Copyright Act to the author of a creative work.  It provides an enumerated set of possible defenses against an action for infringement of an exclusive right of copyright.

The Public Domain

  • Refers to works whose intellectual property rights have expired or have been forfeited.

Insubstantial copying 

  • Reproducing such a small amount of a given work that you can proceed without performing a Fair Dealing analysis, or utilizing other exceptions in the Copyright Act.

Short excerpt 

  • The amount of material that can be used from a work without requesting permission as detailed in an educational institutions Fair Dealing policy.

Infringing copyright

  • Using copyright-protected material without the permission of the copyright holder AND the use does not qualify as Fair Dealing, nor can it be justified under another exception in the Copyright Act.

Copyright risk management 

  • An institutional approach to the use of copyright material that balances the full utilization of exceptions found in the Copyright Act and mitigating personal and organizational risk by:
    • Using alternative sources (public domain, creative commons, material licensed by the library, your own work, etc.)
    • Acquiring permission and providing payment to the copyright holder when the type and amount of content to be used warrants it.
    • Adhering to the terms of use for a work licensed to yourself or your organization.

Technological neutrality 

  • The principle expressed in multiple Supreme Court of Canada cases that the rights users have to leverage copyrighted works should not become more limited (and new rights should not be created) as society adopts different technologies to create and consume media. For example, with a traditional photocopier, the production of 1 page from a book involves 1 single analog reproduction of the work, while digitally scanning the same page to a laptop computer and putting it on a USB drive for a class presentation involves the page being reproduced many different times as part of the computing process (copying, conversion, saving, caching, displaying, etc.). For the purposes of Canadian copyright law, these two approaches to copying the work are equivalent; 1 single page from the book is being reproduced.

Royalty free 

  • A type of license that allows for a work that has been legally acquired to be copied and published multiple times without requiring additional permissions and payments for each use. This type of license is commonly associated with stock images and photography.

Technological Protection Measure (TPM)

  •  A device or software placed on copyrighted material to prevent unauthorized access or copying. Canadian copyright law prohibits the disabling or removal of TPMs from copyrighted works.

User Rights

  • Copyright law gives users the right to use copyrighted material without permission under certain circumstances. These provisions are often called exceptions and limitations to copyright law.