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Copyright for Faculty and Staff

Copyright in teaching

Under Sheridan's fair dealing guidelines, you may generally copy 10% or less of a print source. 

  • Pages from different sections of a book may be copied if the total amount copied is 10% or less.
  • An entire chapter may be copied from a book 
  • An entire article may be copied from a journal, magazine or newspaper 

Distribution should be limited to students in a course. Posting a scanned copy in SLATE is permitted. 
For a licensed online material (e.g., from a library database), the safest bet is to link to it since the licence may not permit distribution of downloaded content. 

The safest bet is to link to the material since the licence may not permit distribution of downloaded content. If you prefer to post the content to SLATE, check the licence terms of the material

It depends. Some publishers permit an instructor to share supplemental materials of a textbook with students if they have adopted the textbook for their course (required textbook that students have to purchase). Fanshawe College Library has a list of permissions and considerations from various publishers.
If you want to share supplemental materials of a textbook that you are not adopting, follow the fair dealing guidelines

Yes, you may but follow the guidelines below. 

  • For a print source, follow the fair dealing guidelines - you may generally copy up to 10% of a work but share the copy only in SLATE or with students in a course for their educational use.
  • For material in a library database - Link to the material instead of posting the content. Some of the library databases do not permit sharing downloaded content within. If you prefer to post the material to SLATE, check the licence terms of the material
  • For a resource on the Internet - Link to the webpage instead of posting the content. If you prefer to post the content:
    • Check that it is not watermarked or restricted by a paywall or member subscription. If yes, permission to use from the copyright owner is required.
    • Review the terms of use on the site to see if copying for educational use is prohibited. If there is no such restriction, you may copy the content. 

Remember to cite the source you are using!

It depends on the material and its source. If it is an open textbook from a reputable source such as eCampusOntario’s Open Library, it may be freely copied and shared. However, if it is a textbook from a publisher, the online copy is likely to be illegally posted. Some publishers provide sample snippets of their textbooks but not copies of textbooks in their entirety.

Licensed and fee-based resources

Check the licence terms to see if you may share the copy with students. With most fee-based resources such as case studies, an extended licence is required to share the material. For example, Harvard Business Review requires you to purchase permission for each student who will use a case study. 

It depends on the licence terms. Check for any clause related to perpetual use and/or fair dealing. With most subscription- or fee- based resources, usage of content ceases upon cancellation of the service.

Review the terms of use on the association website to see if your use is permitted. Some associations or organizations do not permit distribution of their resources to non-members. If in doubt, check with the association to clarify permitted uses of the resources or request permission for your use.

Music, videos, and podcasts

Yes, you may. Under the Copyright Act, a professor may show a video for an educational or training purpose if:

  • The use is on-campus;
  • The audience comprises primarily of students; AND
  • The material is a legal copy (it can be a copy you own or borrow from a library)

For a video on YouTube or on the Web, please refer to the question below.

If the screening is not part of a course but for another on-campus educational use, it may be permitted under certain conditions. Please contact Sam Cheng, Open Education and Copyright Librarian (copyright@sheridancollege.ca), for guidance.

Yes, you may but check that the material is legally posted by the copyright owner or with their consent. Here are some tips:

  • Look at the username of the account. Is it an individual or a company? Read the “About” information of the uploader. For example, an individual would unlikely have permission to post a TV show online. If the video is from a company’s YouTube channel, it is more likely that it is legally posted. 
  • Consider the video's content. Is it likely that the content was created by the person that posted it? For example, a professor’s lecture on their own channel. 
  • Does it include third party content? If yes, does it mention that permission was obtained? If there is a notice such as "copyright infringement is not intended," the material likely belongs to someone else.

See Seneca College Libraries' video on "Can I use YouTube videos in my class?"

Follow the guidelines mentioned in the answers above. If you are recording your lecture, it is recommended that you pause recording before showing a copyrighted video. 

Yes, you may. Under the Copyright Act, a professor may play music or a sound recording for an educational or training purpose if:

  • The use is on-campus;
  • The audience comprises primarily of students; AND
  • The material is a legal copy (it can be a copy you own or borrow from a library)

Some examples of permitted performance include*: 

  • Playing a recording of O'Canada in school assemblies
  • Playing a song as part of instruction in a music class
  • A campus concert performed by students for demonstration to teachers, other students and parents (any admission fees charged should only be for cost recovery and not for profit).

*Adapted from Copyright Matters! 3rd Edition from Council of Ministers of Education, Canada 

First, do a search in Summon to see if Sheridan Library has a streaming version of the video. If available, you may link to the content in SLATE. If the video is not available in the library collection, please contact Ahtasham Rizvi, the Collection Development Librarian, to ask if it is possible to get a streaming version for the library.

If you need only a video clip, follow the fair dealing guidelines – generally up to 10% of a work may be copied for educational use. However, copying is not permitted if you need to circumvent or break a digital lock on the material in order to copy it. Some DVDs and most blu-ray discs have a digital lock that restricts copying and usage in certain countries.

It depends on the material. 

  • If it is on a website, check the terms of use to see if copying for educational use is prohibited. If there is no such restriction, you may copy the content. 
  • If it is from an app, permission from the copyright owner is recommended unless you can determine that the licence terms do not prohibit copying. 
  • If it is from an audiobook, permission from the copyright owner is required.
  • If it is from an audiobook from Sheridan Library, link to the material. 
     

Images

The Copyright Act permits a professor to copy and use publicly available materials on the Web such as an image for educational use if:

  • The material was legally posted by the copyright owner or with their consent;
  • There is no "clearly visible notice" on the website prohibiting users from copying the material for educational use (not just a general copyright or "All Rights Reserved" statement); and
  • The material is not watermarked or protected by a digital lock

If all conditions are met, the material may be copied as long as you credit the source. 

Try searching for public domain and Creative Commons licensed images with less restrictions. 

Visit the Finding Images guide for a list of websites where you can find public domain and Creative Commons licensed images.

Also, check out the guide on “How to Search for Copyright Friendly Images in Google”!

Sheridan has an educational licence for faculty, staff and students to use images from Adobe Stock. The licence permits using the images in course materials, student assignments, presentations, and other academic and professional activities related to Sheridan. Please note that audio and video assets are not available under the educational licence and require an additional licence to use. 

Yes, if the images are for a fair dealing use. For example, if the image is used for critique or commentary or for illustrating a concept. 

Avoid using copyrighted images for a decorative purpose or when the images are not relevant to the topics covered in the presentation. Consider using public domain and Creative Commons licensed images if you want to make your slides more visually appealing.    

You may use clipart, stock photos and icons from Microsoft Office but it is recommended that you include the citation: “Used with permission from Microsoft.” 

With online pictures located through Microsoft Office, they are mostly Creative Commons licensed and are free to copy and reuse. To locate the citation information, go to the source website – see below.

Student Works

A student generally owns copyright to the works that they create at Sheridan, unless the work is created as part of employment or under a contract that specifies a different copyright ownership. However, if you want to copy a student work for an internal non-commercial, educational purpose, you may do so according to Sheridan’s Intellectual Property Policy.

With a work that the student may submit to an external competition or festival or plan to commercialize outside of Sheridan, it is recommended that you inquire with the student. If in doubt, request permission from the student to use their work.

If a student performance is based on a copyrighted work (e.g. a musical), follow the fair dealing guidelines – generally up to 10% of a work may be copied for educational use. However, if students will be asked to review or provide peer feedback on the performance, the performance may be shared in its entirety in SLATE depending on the context. Check with Sam Cheng, Open Education and Copyright Librarian (copyright@sheridancollege.ca), for more information.  

Check out Sheridan Library's Theatre in Video, which has over 250 videos of performance of the world's leading plays and over 100 film documentaries.  

According to Sheridan Research Office’s Intellectual Property (IP) Module, an industry or community partner usually owns the copyright or IP when they are involved in a student capstone or research project. Students may sign an agreement with an industry or community partner to set out the terms for IP.

Students should check with the Research Office if they have a question about using their capstone or research project.