(Click to change area.)
Copyright is an intangible or incorporeal property right in a work. This right is completely separate from the property right in copies of this work, such as books, records, paintings or computer software. . . .
. . . Copyright law automatically protects a work as soon as it is created, regardless of its quality, format or content-whether literary or scientific-provided the work is fixed and original . . . .
. . . The author is a natural person and is the first copyright holder. He or she may assign all or part of the economic or exploitation rights to a third party . . . according to various agreements. The moral rights in a work may not be assigned, although the person may not wish to exercise them or may waive them. . . .
Copying a protected work in a computer system or on the Web, be it temporarily or permanently, is considered as a reproduction. Consequently, substantial reproduction without the authorization of the copyright holder is an infringement of copyright law. Downloading such a work and reproducing or photocopying it without authorization to do so or for purposes other than those authorized by the owner of the site or of the document is also an infringement of copyright law.
-Les Publications du Québec-Droit d'auteur en général
(formerly available at: http://publicationsduquebec.gouv.qc.ca/home)
The Council of Ministers of Education, Canada produced a guide called Copyright Matters! Some Key Questions and Answers for Teachers (Noel, Wanda, and Gerard Breau [Toronto: Council of Ministers of Education, Canada; Toronto: Canadian School Boards Association; Toronto: Canadian Teachers' Federation, 2000]).
Copyright is the legal protection of literary, dramatic, artistic, and musical works, sound recordings, performances, and communications signals. Copyright provides creators with the legal right to be paid for-and to control the use of-their creations. Copyright also provides exceptions to the rights of creators for users, like educational institutions, who want access to material protected by copyright. A balance is achieved by providing creators with legal "rights" and then limiting those rights through "exceptions." Copyright protects only the way information is expressed, not the information itself. Copying ideas, facts, or information in your own words is not copyright infringement. . . .
Exceptions under the Copyright Act permit certain things to be done by educational institutions that would infringe copyright if there were no exceptions. Teachers can
- copy and perform very small parts of any work protected by copyright, unless the part is highly significant or valuable
- copy or perform works whose author(s) died more than 50 years ago (but not translations or annotations of such works)
- use any work protected by copyright with the permission of the copyright owner (including the text of federal and Ontario statutes, regulations, and court decisions)
- use small parts of works protected by copyright for private study, research, criticism, review, or news reporting under the sections of the Copyright Act that allow such uses of copyright material-referred to as "fair dealing"
- copy a work protected by copyright by hand onto a surface normally used to display hand-written material, such as a blackboard, whiteboard, or flip chart
- copy a work protected by copyright for the purpose of overhead projection using a device such as an LCD, overhead, opaque, or slide projector, provided the work is used for the purpose of education and training and is not already available in a commercial format . . .
From a copyright point of view, you should be aware of the following four rules:
1. Most material available on the Internet is protected by copyright. This includes text (e.g., postings to newsgroups, e-mail messages), images, photographs, music, video clips and computer software.
Under the Copyright Act, reproduction and unauthorized use of a protected work are currently infringements. Therefore, reproduction of any work or a substantial part of any work on the Internet would infringe copyright unless you have the permission of the owner.
The appropriateness of the rules in copyright law is being questioned by many Internet users. Canada and other countries around the world are currently studying uses of copyright materials from the Internet. Many Internet users and service providers are asking for changes in copyright law that would allow defined uses of works on the Internet without infringing copyright. CMEC, CSBA, CTF, and others in the education community are active participants in this ongoing work.
2. Copyright protects the way in which information is expressed. The information itself is not protected by copyright. Copying ideas, facts, or information in your own words is not copyright infringement.
3. Where a work has been placed on the Internet with the message that it can be freely copied, there is an actual licence to copy the work. Sometimes the terms of the licence are subject to conditions. Common conditions are that the posting cannot be used for commercial purposes, must be circulated in its entirety, cannot be used out of context, and cannot be edited or reformatted. If you abide by the conditions, you may copy the work without infringing copyright.
4. Any works protected by copyright that are on your school's Web site require copyright clearance, unless the school already owns the copyright in them. If the school does not own the copyright, permission must be obtained from the copyright owner. The permission must be in writing. . . .
-Copyright Matters! Some Key Questions and Answers for Teachers
The full text of this guide, which may be reproduced, is also available in PDF format.
- Ministère de l'Éducation - Direction des ressources didactiques Web site
- Internet et le droit d'auteur
La Loi sur le droit d'auteur et les établissements d'enseignement
Entente financière concernant les reproductions d'oeuvres musicales et d'enregistrements sonores
- Centre de recherche en droit public, Université de Montréal
- Guide pour gérer les aspects juridiques d'Internet en milieu scolaire
Guide pour un usage responsable d'Internet. À l'intention
des responsables des lieux d'accès publics à Internet et des utilisateurs.
- Carrefour éducation Web site
- Internet et la loi
Des images gratuites ? Pas aussi sûr que cela!
L'utilisation de la musique sur Internet : légale ou pas?
- Canadian Intellectual Property Office
- A Guide to Copyrights (Canada, Industry Canada, Canadian Intellectual Property Office [Hull: Canadian Intellectual Property Office, 2002])
(PDF format also available).
- Les droits d'auteur et l'utilisation pédagogique d'Internet
- A very good compedium on the question written by a librarian and consultant at the Cégep de Granby Haute-Yamaska. Also available in PDF format.
- Because We Care Education Society of Alberta
- What Every Teacher Should Know about Copyright
This site presents the teachers' perspective.