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Copyright @ NSCC

Copyright information for NSCC faculty, staff and students.

Brightspace Support -- Submit a Question or Request Support



Brightspace and Copyright

Rapidly Shifting to Online Courses

There are many challenges -- the good news is that copyright is not a big additional area of worry!

Teaching Online - Same Rights!

  • You have the same rights in a digital classroom that you have in a physical classroom.
  • Any content that you use have the right to use teaching face-to-face can be used to teach in a synchronistic digital classroom.
  • Any content you have the right to distribute in a physical classroom can be shared in your virtual classroom or posted to Brightspace.

The one activity that is not permitted is format shifting any content that has a digital lock. For instance, you cannot convert a DVD to a streaming format. Library Services has multiple streaming video platforms with films you can embed into Brightspace or use in a virtual classroom.

Virtual Classrooms & Access Rights

  • When you use Microsoft Teams or Skype restrict the access to students registered in your class.
  • Brightspace classes are already restricted to students.
  • Restricting access to your students gives you the right to use copyright-protected content under your education exceptions.

Posting content to Brightspace courses

Digital Copies

You can make a copy of a resource to load into Brightspace when one of the following conditions is met:

Licenced Library Resources
NSCC has lots of licenced resource options (eBooks, journals and more) and we have a guide to help you use them in Brightspace:

Sharing links to content on the web (as an alternative to copying) is a recommended practice as long as the content on the website does not infringe copyright. Was the content:

  • Posted by the copyright owner or;
  • With the permission of the copyright owner.
Audio Visual Options

Many instructors have DVDs that they show in their physical classrooms and may want to continue to use the resource in their Brightspace courses. Check NSCC Libraries streaming video collections to see if the resource is included in one of our existing collections. Streaming video can be linked to or embedded into your Brightspace course.

  • Streaming video databases -- licensed access through NSCC Library Services
    • 4 databases to choose content from.
    • You do not need to evaluate whether you can use the content. Your use is covered by a license.
  • Streaming video on the web -- Lots of great options.
    • When using an open platform like YouTube make sure the video it is not an infringing copy.
    • How do you do that?
      A simple test is to look at who posted it. Was it posted by or with permission from the copyright owner?
    • Need help in figuring out who posted the content? Contact the Copyright office or your Campus Library for support.

Loading Recorded Lessons

Educational institutions can transmit lessons to students in real time over the Internet or make a recording of a lesson and post it on-line. However, there is a requirement to remove access to the recorded lessons within 30 days of students enrolled in the course receiving their final evaluations.

When the course is finished, instructors should remove their lessons and content from Brightspace, and save the files in a private location.  When the course is offered again, create a new class in Brightspace and load the saved content. You may reuse the saved versions of  lessons from previous courses.

Digital Locks
A digital lock is a technological protection measure (a password, or encryption) that restricts access to the content with the objective of protecting the content from copying.


The Copyright Act prohibits breaking a digital lock. Always! The presence of a digital lock trumps all other rights

Brightspace Course Review

Would you like support in reviewing the content in your Brightspace course(s)?

You can place a request to have your Brightspace course reviewed.

  • Send an email to the Copyright Office [] and request a review.
  • Once we determine who will conduct the review, the reviewer will need to be given access to your course.
  • Access is granted by placing a request at the NSCC Technology Service Desk.

Why do NSCC Brightspace courses have a fixed length?

The closing off of Brightspace courses 30 days after the course has been completed is necessary in order to comply with legislative requirements in the Canadian Copyright Act.  The expanded users rights we have, to use copyright-protected content for educational purposes, comes with a set of legislated responsibilities including:

30.01(6)(a) destroy any fixation of the lesson within 30 days after the day on which the students who are enrolled in the course to which the lesson relates have received their final course evaluations;…  (Copyright Act of Canada)

It is important to note that we don’t destroy courses, we remove access rights to the course.  Students can and are encouraged to download content (from the courses they are registered in) to save for their own personal use.

Closing off the courses also provides protection for the creators/instructors. Courses often contain learning materials that are used under contracts or permissions that have fixed terms or conditions for use. The closing off of courses helps ensure that the conditions for using content are met; an important risk management tool providing protection to both faculty and the College.

Important note: There is a difference between U.S. and Canadian copyright laws.

Question 1 – Do copyright laws and the Fair Dealing Guidelines apply to online teaching and face-to-face learning during a pandemic?

Question 2 – Is Access Copyright’s Read Aloud Canadian Books Program available to teachers in elementary and secondary schools?

Question 3 – Can a teacher read a story to students in the evening on FaceBook Live or a similar online platform to promote literacy?

Question 4 – Can a live book reading by a teacher be communicated online?

Question 5 – Can teachers record themselves reading books aloud to their students?

Question 6 – Can teachers transmit a recording of the book reading to their students via a password-protected website?

Question 7 – Can teachers record themselves reading a portion of a book and share the video on a password-protected platform such as Google Classroom or Moodle?

Question 8 – Can teachers include modern-day music in a video that teachers are preparing for their students?

Question 9 – Can a group of students (class or choir) meet online (via Google Meet) to practise and perform a published piece using a screen recording?

Question 10 – Can a school create a 'Virtual Choir' of a published work that has been purchased (the appropriate number of copies - one per person) by the school, and post it online for public viewing?

Question 11 – Can teachers post online chapters of textbooks that have been purchased for all the students but which may not be accessible to them because the books are in a closed school?

Question 12 – Can materials on websites such as photographs, activities, and images be copied and pasted to create activities for students? An example is building an activity library. Important note: There is a difference between U.S. and Canadian copyright laws. American and Canadian copyright laws are not the same. Ideas found on U.S. websites may not apply in Canada.




Copyright and Online Learning During the COVID-19 Pandemic ©2020 Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC)* This document may be freely reproduced without obtaining the permission of the copyright owner, provided that no changes whatsoever are made to the text. *The CMEC Copyright Consortium, composed of the Ministers of Education of the provinces and territories, except Quebec, is responsible for copyright matters for CMEC.

Brightspace Support Resources to Check Out