What are the laws and rules relating to copyright at NIC?
The Copyright Act of Canada
, Supreme Court decisions and agreements and licenses entered into by NIC with copyright owners govern the use of copyrighted materials at NIC. If your copying is not permitted by any license or the Copyright Act of Canada
, either under the educational exception or under the Fair Dealing Policy
, you will need to get permission from the copyright owner.
What does copyright protect?
Copyright protects all original literary, artistic, dramatic and musical works, computer programs, translations and compilations of works, as well as sound recordings, performances and communication signals. This encompasses a wide range of things, ranging from books, articles, posters, manuals and graphs, to CDs, DVDs, software, databases and websites.
How do I know if something is protected by copyright?
Copyright protection occurs automatically when a work is created and normally lasts for 50 years after the author’s death. When you want to use a particular work, the safest approach is to assume that the work is protected by copyright, unless there is a clear indication to the contrary or the author has been dead for at least 50 years.
What rights does a copyright owner have?
Copyright is the sole and exclusive right of a copyright owner to produce, reproduce, perform, publish, adapt, translate and telecommunicate a work, and to control the circumstances in which others may do any of these things. These rights are subject to certain exceptions under the Copyright Act of Canada which balance the copyright owner’s interests with the public interest in allowing use of works for purposes such as education, private study and research.
What is fair dealing and how does it relate to copyright?
Fair dealing is a user’s right in copyright law, which allows a person to make copies of short excerpts of works without the permission of the copyright owner or payment of copyright royalties, for the purpose of research, private study, education, parody, satire, criticism, review or news reporting*. When determining whether copying is “fair”, one must consider all of the relevant factors, described here:
• the purpose of the proposed copying, whether it is for research, private study, education, parody or satire, criticism, review or news reporting OR commercial purposes
• the character of the proposed copying, whether isolated or intended for repetitive use
• the amount of copying and the importance of that excerpt in relation to the whole work
• alternatives to copying the work, whether copying is necessary for the end result, whether there is a non-copyrighted equivalent available
• the nature of the work, including whether it is published or unpublished
• the effect of the copying on the original work, including whether the copy will compete with the commercial market of the original work.
*If the purpose of copying is for criticism, review or news reporting, you must mention the source and author of the work for it to be fair dealing.
Does fair dealing include teaching?
Yes. While fair dealing does not specifically mention teaching, it does mention “education.” In 2012, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in favor of copying of short excerpts by teachers for class handouts under the “research or private study” fair dealing purposes. For more information view the Fair Dealing Policy.
How long does copyright last?
In Canada, copyright generally lasts for the lifetime of the author, plus 50 years. In the US and Europe, copyright generally lasts for the life of the author plus 70 years. Use of a work in Canada is governed by the Canadian rules for the duration of copyright protection.
What is meant by ‘the public domain’? How do I know if something is public domain?
The term “public domain” refers to works in which the copyright has expired.
For example, although copyright in Shakespeare’s plays expired long ago, many of the published editions of his plays contain added original materials (such as annotations, translations, footnotes, prefaces etc.) that are copyright protected because the authors have used skill and judgment in creating the new material. This creates a new copyright in the additional original works, but not in the underlying text of the original work in which the copyright has expired.
Materials on the internet are generally protected by copyright; however you may be able to use them for educational purposes because many uses will be covered by fair dealing or the exception for educational use of material publicly available through the Internet.
For a list of Public Domain Resources see the Public Domain Resources tab.
How does copyright work internationally?
Copyright is recognized internationally due to international conventions. So, generally, your copyright will be protected in other countries but it is protected under that country’s laws, so there may be some differences from the level of protection you would get in Canada. If you’re concerned about someone’s use of your work in other countries, you will need to check the particular jurisdiction’s copyright laws to confirm whether they are infringing your copyright.
How do I get permission to use someone else’s work?
You ask. If your use isn’t permitted by a license, or one of the exceptions in the Copyright Act of Canada, you will need to ask for permission. If the copyright owner is easily identifiable and locatable, you can contact them directly. Usually you will be able to identify the owner somewhere on the work by looking for the copyright symbol ©, which should have the copyright owner’s name next to it. You’ll often find this at the beginning of a book, at the side of a photograph or at the bottom of a web page. Once you’ve located the owner, simply email or write to him/her, explaining how and why you want to use the work and requesting permission. The permission should be in writing; an email consent will suffice. It is not advisable to rely on verbal permission. You should also keep a file record of who gave the permission, what was permitted, the date, and how to contact the person who gave the permission.
What are moral rights and what do they have to do with copyright?
Moral rights are additional rights held by authors and creators of literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works. They consist of rights that protect the integrity of a work and the reputation of its author. The right of attribution is the right to always be identified as the author of a work or to remain anonymous. The right of integrity is the right not to have a work or performance modified or associated with goods or services in a way that is prejudicial to the author’s or performer’s reputation. These rights are important for authors and performers to ensure they receive appropriate recognition for their work and for prohibiting any prejudicial changes to their works.
Are there special rules for scanning?
If you want to scan something, you may do so if the use falls within one of the exceptions in the Copyright Act of Canada, such as fair dealing, or if the work is in the public domain. Scanning a copyright protected work is subject to the same rules as photocopying or posting a work onto a learning management system. If your use is not permitted by a license, or one of the exceptions in the Copyright Act of Canada, you will need to ask for permission from the copyright owner.