Administrative Procedure 190

AP 190 - Copyright


The division has a statutory and ethical responsibility to respect the legitimate copyright claims of creative contributors and their publishers/distributors. There is a need for students to have access to a wide range of resources within the limits of the Copyright Act. Accordingly, there exists a need to clarify both the creator’s and the user’s rights with respect to use of copyright material.

Division employees shall not duplicate, without the permission of copyright holders, print materials, computer software programs, video or audio materials that are protected by copyright; nor shall schools store or use duplicated materials that are in violation of copyright laws.


  1. Copyright means the legal protection of a creator’s original work. Copyright law does not protect ideas, only the form in which they are expressed.
  2. Copyright infringement means publishing, adapting, exhibiting, translating, editing, performing in public, communication by telecommunication, copying or converting to another medium without permission of the creator.
  3. Works covered by copyright means all original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works.
    Examples include but are not limited to books, writing, encyclopedias, photographs, films, dictionaries, statistical data, newspapers, reviews, magazines, translations, tables, compilations, examination questions, speeches set down in writing, any piece that can be recited, choreographies, harmony, melody, lyrics, paintings, drawings, sculptures, works of artistic craftsmanship, engravings, architectural works of art, maps, plans, charts, records, cassettes, tapes, sound recordings, television programs and electronic resources such as computer software, online programs, CD-ROMs, MP3s and computer programs stored on any media.
  4. Dubbed off-air means making a copy of any television program during broadcast.


  1. Division employees shall not contravene the copyright law by illegally copying or duplicating texts, workbooks, periodical materials and/or musical works, printed or recorded. Works covered by copyright may only be reproduced by division employees with oral or written permission from the copyright owner or authorized agent.
  2. In the event of litigation resulting from copyright violation, the division will not assume responsibility for actions of an employee who has contravened the school system copyright policy.

Fair Dealing Procedures

The fair dealing provision in the Copyright Act permits use of a copyright-protected work without permission from the copyright owner or the payment of copyright royalties. To qualify for fair dealing, two tests must be passed.

First, the “dealing” must be for a purpose stated in the Copyright Act: research, private study, criticism, review, news reporting, education, satire, and parody. Educational use of a copyright-protected work passes the first test.

The second test is that the dealing must be “fair.” In landmark decisions in 2004 and in 2012, the Supreme Court of Canada provided guidance as to what this test means in schools and post-secondary educational institutions.

These guidelines apply fair dealing in non-profit K–12 schools and postsecondary educational institutions and provide reasonable safeguards for the owners of copyright-protected works in accordance with the Copyright Act and the Supreme Court decisions.

  1. Teachers, instructors, professors, and staff members in non-profit educational institutions may communicate and reproduce, in paper or electronic form, short excerpts from a copyright-protected work for the purposes of research, private study, criticism, review, news reporting, education, satire, and parody.
  2. Copying or communicating short excerpts from a copyright-protected work under these Fair Dealing Guidelines for the purpose of news reporting, criticism, or review should mention the source and, if given in the source, the name of the author or creator of the work.
  3. A single copy of a short excerpt from a copyright-protected work may be provided or communicated to each student enrolled in a class or course:

    a) as a class handout;
    b) as a posting to a learning- or course-management system that is password protected or otherwise restricted to students of a school or postsecondary educational institution;
    c) as part of a course pack.
  4. A short excerpt means:

    a) up to 10 per cent of a copyright-protected work (including a literary work, musical score, sound recording, and an audiovisual work);
    b) one chapter from a book;
    c) a single article from a periodical;
    d) an entire artistic work (including a painting, print, photograph, diagram, drawing, map, chart, and plan) from a copyright-protected work containing other artistic works;
    e) an entire newspaper article or page;
    f)  an entire single poem or musical score from a copyright-protected work containing other poems or musical scores;
    g) an entire entry from an encyclopedia, annotated bibliography, dictionary, or similar reference work.
  5. Copying or communicating multiple short excerpts from the same copyright-protected work with the intention of copying or communicating substantially the entire work is prohibited.
  6. Copying or communicating that exceeds the limits in these Fair Dealing Guidelines may be referred to a supervisor or other person designated by the educational institution for evaluation. An evaluation of whether the proposed copying or communication is permitted under fair dealing will be made based on all relevant circumstances.
  7. Any fee charged by the educational institution for communicating or copying a short excerpt from a copyright-protected work must be intended to cover only the costs of the institution, including overhead costs.
  8. Fair dealing procedures also permit the following with regard to electronic resources:

    a)  Recording of news or news-commentary programs for later viewing by students without paying royalties;
    b)  Screening or playing of audiovisual works (movies and television programs) in the classroom;
    c)  Use of digital displays, such as interactive whiteboards and digital projectors, to project copyright-protected works (subject to commercial availability) in the classrooms;
    d)  Recording of lessons to be made available for viewing by students at a later time;
    e)  Use of digital technology by school libraries to deliver an inter-library loan copy of a copyright-protected work.
  9. Public Domain Resources

    Works that are in the public domain may be reproduced without permission. Works becom part of the public domain 50 years after the death of the creator except when the rights are passed to others.
  10. Student Work

    Students own the copyright on anything that they create, and parental permission to reproduce their work should be obtained if the student is under 18 years of age; student permission is required if the student is 18 years of age. Permission is not required to display student work within the school.
    10. 1 Each school will request and file permissions from parents/guardians at the beginning of each school year to record and/or tape their child(ren) for possible performance. A sample parental permission form is included in the Forms Manual.
    10.2  Parental approval shall be obtained to display any student work outside the school at such sites as teachers’ conventions, conferences, public libraries, division office or shopping centers.
    10.3 The copyright in photographs taken by students for school publications with equipment and supplies provided by the school are usually the property of the school.
  11. Each school-based administrator is responsible for ensuring staff are informed of copyright guidelines and procedures. 


School Act, Section 60
Copyright Act
Copyright Regulations
CanCopy Agreement

Forms: Copyright Release Form