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Copyright For Faculty & Staff

Learn more about copyright at Niagara College.

Copyright FAQs

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Copyright FAQs


Can I print slides from a textbook/DVD website and make copies for my class?

Textbooks usually come with digital resources for use by faculty.  Copyright disclaimers on the digital resources usually outline what is allowable under copyright use.  If this cannot be readily ascertained, it is best to contact the publisher for further verification. 

Can I scan or photocopy pages from workbooks or study guides for class distribution?

Not without prior permission from the copyright holder. Workbooks, study guides, and books with tests and exams are considered consumable works meaning they are intended for one-time use.

Does the library purchase copies of course textbooks?

No. Students are expected to purchase/rent the required textbook for their course from the Campus Store.   In some instances, a copy of a textbook may be placed on reserve.  Please refer to the "Course Reserve" section of this guide for more information.


Can I scan material and place it in Blackboard for my students?

Yes, as long as you are following fair dealing guidelines.  Check the Library’s databases to determine if electronic versions of your material are available.  You may then embed a link to this material in Blackboard.


Can I incorporate YouTube clips into my class presentation?

You cannot copy or save the actual video within a PowerPoint presentation but can provide a link in the presentation that takes you back to the original YouTube video. Although, it is the responsibility of the YouTube uploader to clear copyright, as an educational institution we should be making every effort to find the most reliable source or channel in YouTube. E.g. abc, cbc learning, msn, etc. instead of someone named JumpingJenny as the copyright owner. Streaming directly from the original website is the recommended practice.


Can I show DVDs in class?

You may show DVDs in your class under the following conditions:

•      The DVD is being shown for the purpose of education or training.

•      The DVD is being shown on the premises of an educational institution.

•      The DVD is being shown to an audience consisting of students.

•      The copy of the work is not an illegal or infringing copy (i.e. you have purchased a copy of the DVD, you have borrowed it from the library, etc.).

For more information refer to Section 29.5(d) of the Copyright Act.


  • College clubs and associations must obtain Public Performance Rights when screening films for non-educational purposes.
  • Personal "on demand" subscriptions (iTunes, Bell, Rogers, Netflix etc.) CANNOT be screened in class due to licensing restrictions.


Can I provide my students with paper copies of material found on the Internet?

Many internet sites include terms of use with information on copyright and how the materials contained in the site may be used. You may make paper copies if there is no statement restricting you from doing so.  However, you must cite the original source on your copies.

Are there sources of copyright-friendly material available on the internet?

Yes, there are a number of sources that are in the public domain or are under what is typically known as Creative Commons licensing.  You may search the Creative Commons Website for copyright free audio, video and text material. An online search for “Public Domain” and the specific material you are interested in, will provide many other copyright free sources.   Visit our Open Educational Resources guide for more information.

Can I make copies of material from Canadian government websites for classroom distribution?

If credit is given and Crown copyright is acknowledged, the materials may be reproduced for non-commercial purposes.

The Queen's Printer for Ontario holds copyright in Ontario statutes, regulations and judicial decisions. The Queen's Printer permits any person to reproduce the text and images contained in the statutes, regulations and judicial decisions without seeking permission and without charge. The legal materials must be reproduced accurately, and Crown copyright in the legal materials must be acknowledged in the following form:

© Queen's Printer for Ontario, 20__.*

*The year of first publication of the legal materials is to be completed.

The Legislation Act, 2006 sets out which copies of Ontario statutes and regulations are official copies of the law. Reproductions of statutes and regulations that are not official copies under that Act must state that they are not official versions. Reproductions of judicial decisions must state that they are not official versions.


Can students and teachers use copyright-protected works to create new works?

‚ÄčAn individual can use copyrighted works such as images, videos, music, text, etc. in the creation of a new work (e.g. modifying a mathematical table, creating an instructional video, creating slides or documents) as long as the mash-up meets the following conditions  (Section 29.21 of Copyright Act):

  • The mash-up can only be used for non-commercial purposes
  • The original work that is being used to create the mash-up must be cited
  • The original work used in the creation of the mash-up must be a legal copy.
  • The mash-up cannot effect the economic market of the original work

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