Frequently Asked Questions by the University of Waterloo Copyright Advisory Committee is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Everything you ever wanted to know about copyright but were afraid to ask! The links below provide you with general information about the Canadian Copyright Act and how it affects your work within the University. In addition to this FAQ, and for more detailed information on specific topics, please see the links on the left side of this page and the resources listed in question 5.3 below.
1. Copyright basics
General copyright information, including what it covers, how long it lasts, how you get permission to use someone's copyright material and how it works internationally.
- 1.1 What are the laws and rules relating to using copyright at Waterloo?
- 1.2 What does copyright cover?
- 1.3 How do I know if something is protected by copyright?
- 1.4 What rights does a copyright owner have?
- 1.5 What is fair dealing and how does it relate to copyright?
- 1.6 Does fair dealing cover teaching?
- 1.7 How long does copyright last?
- 1.8 What is meant by ‘the public domain’? How do I know if something is public domain?
- 1.9 How does copyright work internationally?
- 1.10 I’m from the States. How is copyright different here?
- 1.11 How do I get permission to use someone else’s work?
- 1.12 What are moral rights and what do they have to do with copyright?
- 1.13 Who owns the copyright in the works I create at Waterloo?
- 1.14 Are there special rules for scanning?
2. Copyright in the classroom
How you and your students can use other people's copyright material in your presentations and in class.
- 2.1 Can I make copies of copyright-protected works to hand out to students in class? Can I include copies of another person’s images and materials in my PowerPoint presentations?
- 2.2 Can I post copies of copyright-protected works to Waterloo’s Learning management system (LEARN)? Can I email copies to students enrolled in my courses?
- 2.3 Is there any difference between posting something on my own website versus posting something on Waterloo's learning management systems (Learn)?
- 2.4 I’ve come across a recent journal article that I want to give out to my students. Can I photocopy it and hand it out to them?
- 2.5 May I upload a PDF of a journal article I obtained through the library’s e-journals to Waterloo's learning management systems (LEARN) for my students to read?
- 2.6 May I scan a print journal article or a book chapter into a PDF and post it on Waterloo's learning management systems (LEARN)?
- 2.7 Can I play music in class?
- 2.8 Can I play videos in class?
- 2.9 Can students include copyright materials in their assignments and presentations?
- 2.10 Are there any databases of copyright materials that I can use for free without worrying about copyright?
- 2.11 Is it okay to use images or other material from the Internet for educational purposes?
- 2.12 Do I need to ask permission to link to a website?
- 2.13 I gave a PowerPoint presentation in class which includes figures, charts, diagrams and other images from a textbook. Can I post it on Waterloo's learning management systems (LEARN)? I’ll be sure to cite where the figures came from.
- 2.14 May I post examples of my students’ work on my Waterloo's learning management systems (LEARN) course or on my personal website?
3. Copyright in the library (Reserves, Interlibrary Loan & e-resources)
What you should know about copyright if you want to photocopy something, place materials on eReserves and paper Reserves or get an article through Interlibrary Loan.
- 3.1 Can eReserves link to full-text resources that the Library has already paid for, such as e-journals and e-books?
- 3.2 Can I just link to the electronic journal article myself on Waterloo's learning management systems (LEARN) and skip using eReserves?
- 3.3 Can eReserves scan articles or chapters and put them on eReserves for my class?
- 3.4 Are there any restrictions on posting an instructor’s notes on eReserves?
- 3.5 What kind of print materials will the Reserves service accept for inclusion as a paper reserve?
- 3.6 Where can I find more information about eReserves and how to use it?
- 3.7 Can I get the library to send me electronic copies of articles using the Interlibrary Loan (ILL) service?
- 3.8 What are licences for electronic resources?
4. Copyright and course packs
How copyright works when you are putting together printed courseware.
- 4.1 Do I need to obtain permission to use copyright material in my course packs?
- 4.2 Do I need to obtain permission if I want copyright protected material printed on campus?
- 4.3 If I have permission to put something on Waterloo's learning management systems (LEARN), does this mean I can also include it in my courseware?
- 4.4 Why is there sometimes a fee for copyright material used in courseware?
- 4.5 Can I make photocopies of copyright materials at a Media.doc outlet?
5. Copyright contacts and resources
Who's available to help you with copyright issues at University of Waterloo and other useful resources.