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Why Care?

We teach students the value of original thinking and the importance of not plagiarizing others’ work

Teachers need to be aware of the copyright status of resource materials they use and produce

The Copyright Act (2016)

Broadens “fair dealing” to include education

Attempts to resolve new digital copyright issues, in particular, if publicly available Internet resources can be used for educational purposes without breaking copyright


Teachers can make copies of SHORT EXCERPTS for class handouts, etc.

A “short excerpt” is no more than 10% of a work (literary, musical, recording & AV)

The source of the excerpt must be cited and the citation must include author’s/creator’s name

Internet Materials

Teachers and students are now permitted to access and use publicly available Internet materials in the process of teaching and learning.

  • Images
  • Music
  • New works (mash-ups, for example)

Students and educators need to cite the source.

Materials protected by password or encryption or prohibited for educational use are not permitted. 

TV and Radio Programs

A single copy of a news, news commentary, and other radio and TV programs can be made for re-airing in the classroom, but only at the time it is aired or made available on the Internet.

Copies of programs that are not news or news commentary have a 30-day restriction;that is, teachers have 30 days to review the copy for classroom use.  If, within the 30 days, the recording is shown to a class or if it is not erased, the school is required to make a royalty payment.

Feature Films

Public Performance Rights (PPR), a public license is not required when showing feature length movies and documentaries for educational/classroom purposes in school instructional hours.Teachers can show audiovisual works purchased or rented from a retail store, a copy borrowed from the library, a copy borrowed from a friend or a YouTube video.  

Schools will need to buy licenses to show feature films outside instructional hours and for fundraising.

Resources Links

3 Things for Teachers to Know about Copyright (Poster)
Copyright Matters (Booklet)
Fair Dealing Guidelines (Poster)
Fair Dealing Guidelines teacher (Handout)
Copyright, Fair dealing and the Classroom (PowerPoint)
Principal/Teacher Checklist (Handout)
Copyright law has changed for teachers and schools (poster)
Copyright law in the context of education (handout)
Consumables (poster)
Your Copyright Go-To Person (poster)
Copyright Information for Teachers on CMEC website
ERAC Copyright Course for Educators

Films, online media, etc. from subscription services may be shown subject to the terms of the subscription agreement. If, for example, the terms limit use to personal or household use (such as Netflix), then the video cannot be shown in the classroom

PPR are required for non-educational purposes in schools such as lunchtime, before or after school events or programs, fund-raising, and so on.  Schools will need to buy licenses to show feature films outside instructional hours and for fundraising.


Music can be played or performed by students on school sites for educational purposes for audiences of students, educators, and for parents.

Music cannot be played or performed by students on school sites under the terms of the Act; that is, without permission and payment:

  • At school dances or sporting events
  • At an event where profit is intended
  • As background music anywhere in the school, including the phone system when a person is ‘on hold’

Licensing for these restrictions is provided by SOCAN ( and ReSound (

Students’ Rights

Students’ intellectual property rights are protected.  That is, any original work – for example, an essay, video, sound recording, website, art piece – requires authorization for further use.

Authorization in VSB schools requires both the student’s and the parent’s signed permission to re-use in a publication, workshop, or web posting, or as an exemplar.  Email is considered a legal document for this purpose.

More Information

The Council of Ministers of Education Canada (CMEC).  Copyright Matters! 2016.  Online.  

The Canadian Teachers’ Federation 

Fair Dealing Decision Tool 

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