Copying for Teaching and Educational Purposes

Copyright During COVID Update:

Please review guidance (March, 2020): ‘Serving Student Access Needs As We Rapidly Shift to Online Course and Exam Delivery.

Canada’s Copyright Act includes a number of user’s rights that allow instructors to use copyright-protected materials in the classroom.

Here you’ll find some common questions, and answers, about what you can do in class. If your question isn’t answered here, or you’re not clear on anything below, please contact or visit Brock’s Copyright FAQ.

Yes, within certain limits. Please read Brock’s Fair Dealing Policy, which sets out these limits, such as up to 10% or one chapter of a book, or one article from a journal, magazine, or newspaper.

Yes! Under a right in the Copyright Act, you may make copies of works to display in class for educational purposes, provided the work you’re copying is not already commercially available in a format appropriate for display. So including images, figures, passages, and other materials in your slides is allowed.

Yes! Under a right in the Copyright Act, you may play films or music in class provided that it is for educational purposes, not-for-profit, and before an audience of consisting primarily of students and/or educators. You must ensure that the copy of the film you are showing is not an infringing copy, or if you don’t know if it is a legitimate copy, there are no reasonable grounds for believing it is infringing. Do not use pirated or stolen content, or any content that looks like it might be.

Yes, provided all of the following applies:

  • your copying is for educational purposes;
  • the material appears to have been posted legitimately (i.e. by, or with the consent of, the copyright owner);
  • there is no clearly visible notice on the material or the website prohibiting you from making copies;
  • there is no technological protection measure preventing you from accessing or copying the material (e.g. it’s not on a password-protected website, or a website that has paid access to content); and
  • you acknowledge and cite the author and source of the material.

Yes! An exception in the Copyright Act allows you to play television and radio broadcasts in class, provided that you do so only for educational purposes, it is not-for-profit, and it is before an audience consisting primarily of students and/or educators.