Universities are both creators and consumers of copyright-protected content. Faculty, staff, students, and other members of the university community create works that are subject to copyright protection. They also make use of copyright-protected materials that have been created by others.
Almost any format of work you can think of is subject to copyright: books, journals, newspapers, performances, software, web pages, sound recordings, videos, broadcast signals, works of art, photographs, and more. Copyright protection is also automatic, meaning a work is protected as soon as it is created; no registration of copyright ownership is required. The term of copyright protection for a work in Canada is generally the lifetime of the author plus 70 years, with some exceptions.
Canadian copyright law protects copyright owners from unauthorized use of their works, but users of copyright-protected works also have rights within the law. The Copyright Act includes exceptions, also known as users’ rights, that permit the copying and sharing of works in certain circumstances, without having to seek permission or pay copyright fees. Fair dealing is the best-known, and the most used exception, as it is available to anyone and allows copies to be made in a wide range of circumstances. Learn more about the fair dealing exception and the University’s Fair Dealing Policy.
The library is home to the University’s Copyright Officer. The Copyright Officer provides guidance on using copyright-protected works and promotes awareness and understanding of the rights and obligations that each of us has with respect to copyright.
Members of the university community who engage in prohibited copying could be in violation of the Copyright Act. Violations of the Copyright Act may result in claims which could have serious financial implications for the university and potentially, for individuals. If you are a member of the university community and you receive notice from a copyright owner alleging infringement of copyright, immediately contact the University’s Copyright Officer at email@example.com.
Learn more about copyright at the University of Guelph:
- Using copyright-protected works for teaching, learning, research, and other purposes
- Copyright information for authors and other creators
- Copyright and Library Services
If you have questions about using copyrighted works in your teaching:
- Consult the Copyright for Instructors guide
- Submit your course materials to the Ares Course Reserve System in order to ensure compliance with copyright requirements
- Contact the University Copyright Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- CARL Copyright Open Educational Resource for University Instructors and Staff
- University of Alberta’s Opening Up Copyright Video Series
- Copyright Act of Canada
- Canadian Intellectual Property Office, Copyright Division
- Creative Commons Licenses
Still not sure?
We offer a variety of workshops to support your scholarship through the Open Scholarship workshop series.