We have assembled a number of resources that may be helpful to you as you think through the implications of copyright on your teaching and/or learning. While every author/creator has the option to reserve to themselves all rights granted by the Copyright Act, many choose not to do so. Creative Commons and open access are two common options for those want to make wider uses of their work available to potential users. If you are using copyright-protected materials in the creation of your own works, permission may be required from the copyright owner. The links of the left side menu of this page provide related information and resources that may be helpful to you as both a user and a creator of various works.
Creative Commons is a way for creators to share and increase the accessibility of their works. Copyright laws create a default “all rights reserved” position for all creative works. This means that even if a creator wants to see a particular work widely used and accessed without collecting royalties, potential users might not initiate the sometimes time-consuming work of seeking permission and just not make use of the work.
Creative Commons (CC) aims to change this by offering a “some rights reserved” model. Where authors wish to share their works and make them more accessible, CC licenses serve as tools to minimize barriers, while allowing creators to still indicate which uses are open and which are not. For example an author might allow non-commercial use in advance, but not commercial use. Or a creator might allow copying but disallow derivative works (modification). By providing clarity about certain uses in advance, users can be more confident about their use of these materials and use becomes more likely. This helps authors share their materials with the world.
This is different than works in the public domain. Copyright remains with the creator, but a CC licence gives advance permission for specific kinds of uses as determined by the copyright holder who can still allow or deny permissions for other uses on a case by case basis.
For information about Creative Commons licenses, see the Creative Commons website.
Many content owners or their agents monitor the Internet to identify when their copyrighted content is being shared, copied or used in a manner that infringes their copyright. Popular file-sharing sites that use the BitTorrent protocol are actively monitored.
Notice and Notice is a tool established in the Copyright Act to help copyright owners address online copyright infringement (e.g. illegal downloading) so that they can protect their copyrighted material while respecting the interests and freedom of users.
The Notice and Notice provisions specify protocols that intermediaries such as internet service providers (ISPs), web hosts, digital network providers and search engine providers (each a “Provider”) must use to receive, respond to, and manage complaints of copyright infringement. The process involves a content owner sending an infringement notice to the user’s Provider, and the Provider forwarding that notice to the user.
What does this mean at the University of Regina?
The Notice and Notice provisions apply to the University of Regina and the University community in several ways:
How does Notice and Notice work?
Where a content owner learns that their content has been shared, copied or used in a manner that is, in their view, an infringement of copyright, they typically are not able to determine the identity of the infringing user. However, they are able to determine the IP address of the device that used or shared the content, and which Provider is responsible for that IP address.
The content owner can send a notice of alleged infringement (an “Infringement Notice”) to the Provider.
The Notice and Notice regime requires the Provider to:
(a) forward the Infringement Notice to the user and notify the content owner that the notice was forwarded; or
(b) if the user cannot be identified, notify the content owner that the notice was not forwarded.
If a Provider receives an Infringement Notice, but does not comply with its obligations under the Notice and Notice regime, the content owner may seek statutory damages against the Provider.
Four important details
If you have any questions about Notice and Notice, please see Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada’s website. Read this commentary to learn more about Notice and Notice and what to consider if you receive a copyright Infringement Notice.
If you have any questions about Notice and Notice at the University of Regina, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The web page “What is Notice and Notice?” is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
In cases where you wish to make use of a work and your desired use is not covered by an existing licence or exception in the Copyright Act, you must receive the permission of the copyright holder. The following are a set of resources and guidelines that will assist you to locate the copyright holder(s) of a work and obtain the appropriate copyright permissions.
It’s important to remember that the author or creator may or may not be the copyright holder. Publishers often ask authors to sign copyright over to them in exchange for publishing the work. The best place to start when identifying the copyright holder is to look at the title page – or equivalent – for a name next to a © symbol or a copyright claim statement. This would be the person or organization to contact for permission. Remember, if an author has signed copyright over to a publisher or other party they are not able to either grant or deny permission to copy, regardless of how they feel about the re-use of their work (though they can still assert moral rights). In some cases an author/creator or publisher will assign the work of clearing permissions to a copyright collective and should direct you accordingly.
In the absence of a copyright statement you should begin by trying to find the author/creator for permission. If they no longer hold the copyright they should be able to direct you to the copyright holder. If the identity of the author/creator is not clear then begin by trying to find the publisher, distributor, or any other organization that appears to be connected to the work. Also, The Canadian Intellectual Property Office maintains a searchable Canadian Copyrights Database. This is not an exhaustive database so the absence of a work from this database does not mean there is no copyright owner. For copyrights registered in the USA the US Copyright Office offers a similar tool.
If after a reasonable and diligent search you are unable to find the copyright holder you can contact the Copyright Board of Canada and request permission from them. See their website for more information on unlocatable copyright owners.
When submitting a request it should be in writing (e-mail is fine). If the permission is for a course, request for “the life of the course” rather than a specific semester or year (which would leave you to request permission again). Information you should provide as part of the request includes: exactly what you want to copy, the course name, number of copies you want to make and/or the number of students expected in your course per year, whether you will be distributing the material in print or electronic format, and whether electronic distribution is in a password protected environment. Make sure to start early, it takes time to obtain permissions (allow 6-8 weeks for a response). The retention and destruction of any related records are governed by the records schedule for copyright management (EAG 60).
When hosting a speaker for an event where their presentation will be recorded in any manner, the speaker should complete a speaker release form. A template speaker release form is provided below. This provides certainty by clearly granting the university the copyright in the recording so that it can be preserved or used as the university sees fit. The retention and destruction of any related records are governed by the records schedule for copyright management (EAG 60).
Copyright protection does not last forever. Regardless of where a work was created, the general rule in Canada is that copyright lasts for the life of the author, the remainder of the calendar year in which the author dies and for 70 years following the end of that calendar year. This statutory rule is known as the "life plus 70" rule. Copyright protection begins as soon as work is created, and will expire on December 31 of the 70th year after the author dies at which time the work enters the Public Domain. For example, if a work was created on April 30, 1976 and the author dies on July 27, 1989, the copyright protection extends from April 30, 1976 to December 31, 2059, at which point it would enter the Public Domain. If the work was created by more than one person, copyright protection exists for the life of the creator who dies last, the remainder of the calendar year in which that person dies, plus 70 additional years. Once a work has become part of the Public Domain, it is no longer protected by copyright and can be copied, modified and distributed without permission.
Publicly available works, such as those available on the Internet, are not the same as Public Domain works. Most content on the Internet or in journals and books, is not in the Public Domain. For any Public Domain work that has been republished with new content, the new version is copyrighted but the original work would remain in the Public Domain. For example, Shakespeare’s Hamlet in its original form remains in the Public Domain, but copyright for the version of Hamlet published by Penguin is held by that corporation. Numerous publishers may hold copyright for their versions of Hamlet, but none holds copyright to Hamlet itself.
Works can also be in Public Domain because the work was either not eligible for copyright protection in the first place or the copyright owner has chosen to completely release the work from copyright protection. This can be done by stating on the work that it may be copied or reproduced without permission or payment of royalties.
If the work was created by more than one person, copyright protection exists for the life of the creator who dies last, the remainder of the calendar year in which that person dies, plus 70 additional years. Both economic rights and moral rights also continue to exist for the same period of time.
If the identity of the author is unknown, copyright consists of whichever is the earliest: the remainder of the calendar year of the first publication of the work plus 70 years; or the remainder of the calendar year of the making of the work plus 75 years.
Most provincial and municipal government publications are not in the Public Domain. For government publications created for (or published by) the Crown, copyright in these works lasts for the remainder of the calendar year in which the work was first published, plus an additional 50 years.
Posthumous works are works that were not published, performed or delivered in public during the lifetime of the author. If the work was created on or after January 1, 1999, the term of copyright protection is the life of the author, the remainder of the calendar year in which the author died and for 70 years following. If the work was created before January 1, 1999, it could fall into one of three categories:
Some specific types of works (e.g., sound recordings) may have a different length of copyright protection. It is recommended not to assume that a work is in the Public Domain and also note that the term of copyright protection may be a different length in another country.
Canadian Public Domain Flowchart
For help determining if a particular work is in the public domain, see the Canadian public domain flowchart, prepared by the Copyright Office at the University of Alberta. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution CC-BY 4.0 license.
UBC’s Scholarly Communications and Copyright Office’s page on the Public Domain.
Public University of Regina websites vs. University of Regina learning management systems
There is an important distinction between publicly accessible websites, and websites that are not publicly accessible. The University of Regina’s learning management system is a password protected, secure website that is restricted to and accessible only by University of Regina students, faculty, and staff. By contrast, most other websites are publicly accessible, in the sense that anyone may visit them, not just University of Regina students, faculty, and staff.
Posting short excerpts of material on the University of Regina’s learning management systems may be permitted by one of the University of Regina’s digital licences, or in accordance with the Fair Dealing Guidelines, for the purposes of research, private study, education, parody, satire, criticism, review or news reporting. In other situations, you will likely need to obtain consent from the copyright owner.
By contrast, posting a copyrighted work on your own website or some other publicly accessible website would generally be considered to be copyright infringement, unless it was done with the copyright owner’s consent.
Using images on public University of Regina websites
Because public University of Regina websites are available for anyone to access, posting someone else’s copyrighted work on such websites would generally not be permitted under fair dealing or the educational exceptions in the Copyright Act. This means that you will typically need to obtain permission from the copyright owner before posting images or other materials on public University of Regina websites.
However, you do have the option of finding images that have been liberally licensed for reuse or that are in the public domain (which means the copyright has expired or been waived by the copyright holder). Images that have been licensed under a Creative Commons license, for example, have been made available for reuse without seeking permission.
There are some excellent resources for finding these types of images online, including:
Wikimedia Commons: A database of nearly 20 million freely usable image, sound, and video files. To find any specific instructions for reusing or attributing images, check the “licensing” section on the image page.
Flickr Commons: A wonderful collection of public domain images from a variety of libraries, archives, and museums, including the Library of Congress, NASA, the Getty Research Institute, the Museum of Photographic Arts, the Biodiversity Heritage Library, and many more.
Flickr Creative Commons Search: You can also use Flickr’s Advanced Search license filter to locate user-added images that are Creative Commons licensed. Just select the license you would like to find images under from the drop down called “Any License.” Check the copyright information, which can be found beneath the date the image was taken, to locate any specific instructions for using the image. Users may also place copyright conditions in their image descriptions.
For more image resources, have a look at UBC’s Scholarly Communications and Copyright Office’s Image Sources Guide. For information on how to attribute Creative Commons-licensed images, see UBC’s Scholarly Communications and Copyright Office’s Image Citation Guide. And of course, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email us at email@example.com.
Using images from external websites on a public University of Regina site
If the terms and conditions for a website provide advance permission for you to reuse that website’s content, then be sure to print a copy of the notice for your records.
If there are no terms and conditions on a website, then you should assume that the website’s content is copyrighted, and that you will likely need to obtain permission from the copyright owner before reusing that content on a public University of Regina site.
Linking and embedding content on public University of Regina sites
Providing a link is not, at this time, considered making a copy of a resource. Therefore, you may provide a link to an online resource without any copyright concerns. In the same manner, embedding a YouTube or other video – that is, adding a link that will allow you to stream a video from YouTube on your site without actually making a new copy to place on your site – is a good way to provide access to a video without infringing copyright.
Before embedding a video on a University of Regina site, it is important to ensure that the video has been posted legitimately (i.e., with the copyright owner’s consent). If you have questions about the legitimacy of a given video, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This content has been adapted from the “Website Administration” by UBC’s Scholarly Communications and Copyright Office website, used under CC BY-SA 4.0. “Website Administration” is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.
Faculty-owned Materials - FAQ
Who owns the teaching materials I create at the U of R?
Under the Collective Agreement with URFA, faculty members are generally the copyright owners of the teaching materials they create at the University of Regina. Ownership can, however, be affected by University contracts, agreements with industry sponsors, and the contributions of joint authors. For further information about ownership of Traditional Academic Works, please consult the .
What can I do if a student uploads my teaching materials on a public website without my permission?
This may constitute a violation of your intellectual property rights.
There are several options that, depending on the particular circumstances and whether the student’s identity is known, may be available to you:
How can I give permission to my students to use or upload my material online?
If you wish to give students your permission to share your materials online, you may do so either on a case-by-case basis upon their request, or grant blanket permission to your students through use of an open copyright license such as Creative Commons.
Creative Commons offers a number of open copyright licences that give advance permission within certain restrictions. For instance, the “CC-BY” licence, the most permissive licence, only requires that users give appropriate credit to the creator. The “CC-BY-NC-SA” licence not only requires credit be given, but also prohibits commercial use of your work, and requires that any derivative work be shared alike under an equally permissive Creative Commons licence.
For more information about giving permission or open access, please contact email@example.com, or visit the website.
What can I do if a student posts their notes, assignments, or course summaries that contain information taught in my course, or information contained in my teaching materials?
Students at the University of Regina own their own notes, summaries, assignments, and all other course work they create themselves. This ownership includes all of the intellectual property rights (particularly copyright) in these works. Copyright law does not protect facts or information, per se. If a student has not reproduced a substantial portion of your actual work, then the student generally has the right to post their own work, even if it is a summary that contains information from your course materials or lessons.
How can I inform students about my intellectual property?
Although notice, such as use of a copyright symbol “©”, is not legally required to gain protection for your work under the Canadian Copyright Act, it is generally good practice to note your ownership of materials on all handouts, slides, tests, and exams etc. that you create. It is also recommended that you notify students on the course syllabus if you do not wish them to share your work online.
Recommended message for course syllabi:
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY NOTICE
All slides, presentations, handouts, tests, exams, and other course materials created by the instructor in this course are the intellectual property of the instructor. A student who publicly posts or sells an instructor’s work, without the instructor’s express consent, may also face adverse legal consequences for infringement of intellectual property rights.
Copyright notice for individual materials:
This work is the intellectual property of the instructor (unless otherwise noted), and is protected by law. Unless a users’ right in Canada’s Copyright Act covers the particular use, students must not publish, post on a public Internet site, sell, rent, or otherwise distribute this work without the instructor’s express permission.
How do I give notice to a website that is hosting material that infringes my copyright?
Brock University's has template messages that are helpful for contacting Canadian, US and international websites."
Please note that only the copyright owner can submit these types of requests.
This document has been adapted with permission from Brock University’s “”.
Please note that not all uses or uploads of your teaching materials will necessarily constitute a violation of the law. The Canadian contains numerous users’ rights, such as the fair dealing exception, that allow the use of your copyright-protected material without your permission for certain purposes, within some circumstances.