Copyright for faculty members

University Copyright Information 2016

Copyright on campus

Faculty, staff and students use and create copyright protected works every day at OCAD University. Screening a film in a classroom, copying images to display within a PowerPoint slide presentation or making photocopies of journal articles to aid in research are all activities that engage copyright. Many routine research and teaching activities rely upon the use of copyright protected works such as plays, periodicals, poems, films, musical recordings, and photographs.

Copyright holders have sole or exclusive rights to publish, translate, reproduce or perform in public a substantial part of literary, dramatic, artistic and other works. This means that permission or licensing from the rights holder is typically required to do any of these acts; however, numerous exceptions also exist within the scheme of the Copyright Act. Specific exceptions to infringement apply to individuals, libraries, archives, museums and educational institutions and the broader exception of “fair dealing” is available to all users.  The rights and exceptions within the Act are an attempt to strike a balance between owners' rights, which provide financial incentive for the creation of original works and users' rights, which allow some uses of works for purposes in the public interest and to ensure that intellectual freedom is not unduly constrained.  

It is very important that all members of the university community are aware of copyright and exercise due diligence when using the work of others in teaching and research related practices. Works should be used in a manner that respects the rights of the copyright holder and is in accordance with Canadian law as well as the University's content licence agreements. The copyright environment for educational institutions is quite complex; uses of copyright material may be permissible under one or more site licences negotiated by the library, the campus Access Copyright agreement, through fair dealing or other exceptions within the Act, or Open Access publications and Creative Commons licences. 

Library Databases

Library Databases offer licensed articles, images and other information resources for use by the OCAD U community for non-commercial teaching and research purposes.  E-Resources, such as Taylor & Francis Journals and JSTOR, are licensed from a variety of publishers and aggregators and therefore each has somewhat different restrictions and permitted uses.  Generally, these agreements permit the downloading, printing and sharing of individual articles. These agreements do not allow for commercial uses, the systematic downloading of a large number of files, or uploading and redistributing content on other websites. Specific permitted uses can be searched by title using the E-Journal Search tool located on the Library homepage and available at  Some databases also allow material to be uploaded and distributed through a Learning Management or E-Reserves System; if uploading to either of these systems is not permitted, durable links can be created to content within the database. 

Faculty members are encouraged to contact the Library’s Course Reserves service to assist in linking or uploading required readings to Canvas. 

Access Copyright

The Access Copyright licence chiefly covers reproduction from print originals included within its repertoire. The repertoire is searchable on the Access Copyright website at  The general copying and scanning terms allow for up to 20% of a work to be reproduced for individual use or shared with another member of the University community (staff, students, faculty).  The licence agreement also covers the creation of print and electronic ‘Course Collections’ either as print course packs or as electronic reserves.  Course packs can be obtained through The Campus Bookstore and digital required readings can be requested through the Library’s Course Reserves service and made available within Canvas.  Further information on the licence terms can be found on the Access Copyright website and are posted near multifunction printers on campus.  Please note, adhering to the Access Copyright licence terms is unnecessary if fair dealing or other exceptions within the Copyright Act apply to your use of a work. 

Access Copyright Agreement FAQ & Licence Information: 

Access Copyright Licence Information

FAQ on the Access Copyright licence

Note: This information is quick reference only; further conditions to use may apply, please contact the library if you require further clarification on permitted uses. 

Fair Dealing & Exceptions to Infringement

Fair dealing and other exceptions within the Act comprise users’ rights, which allow for the use of copyrighted works without permission.  Fair dealing is available to anyone so long as the use of a work is fair and the purpose is for research, private study, criticism, review, news reporting, education, parody or satire. Additionally, using the exception for the purposes of criticism, review and news reporting requires attribution. What is a fair use of a work is not articulated within the Copyright Act, leaving the exception open to interpretation by the courts. In a landmark 2004 Supreme Court decision CCH Canadian Ltd. v. Law Society of Upper Canada, the Court provided a six-factor test which considers the purpose of the dealing, the character of the dealing, the amount of the dealing, the nature of the work, available alternatives to the dealing, and the effect of the dealing on the work when analyzing the fairness of use. Universities and colleges across Canada have since interpreted the six-factors and other jurisprudence and established Fair Dealing Guidelines for using copyright protected works on campuses.

In addition to fair dealing, a large number of specific exceptions are also available to educational institutions. These exceptions complement fair dealing and do not limit or supplant it. For example, specific exceptions exist for reproduction and use of streaming videos and websites from the internet as well screening films and performing music within a classroom for educational purposes. Further conditions do apply to these exceptions, the full text of these educational exceptions can be found online beginning in section 29.4 of the Copyright Act. 

Creative Commons and Open Access

Creative Commons (CC) is a non-profit organization which promotes the dissemination and use of works protected by copyright, primarily by providing free access to online licensing tools for creators.  CC licenses provide a flexible and simple method by which creators may grant the public permission to share and use works. At minimum, a CC licence permits the public to copy and distribute a work while disallowing commercial and derivative uses without permission. These licences have been applied to a variety of web-based creative works from personal blogs, academic e-journals, music, video, images and courseware.  CC licensed works may be freely used for teaching and research purposes as long as attribution or other conditions are met. For more information on CC licences see:

Open Access publishing aims to achieve similar objectives as Creative Commons, ensuring the wide dissemination and use of scholarly research and is compatible with the CC licensing system.  Open Access generally concerns academic publications such as journals and to a lesser degree scholarly books and attempts to remove pricing and use restrictions that are typically in place through the traditional publishing model. Conventional journal publishing is typically supported by free content from researchers and reviewed by peers all without payment.  Once the journal is published it is made available to other researchers through subscription access, often provided by libraries. In contrast to this model, OA publishing makes this literature freely available online and free of most licensing restrictions, allowing all legitimate scholarly uses. Thousands of OA journals can be found through the Directory of Open Access Journals  

Contact: Alex Homanchuk, Head, E-Resources & E-Learning Support    Ext. 3701 or

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