What is Copyright?
Copyright means the right to copy. The right to produce, reproduce, perform, deliver, or publish a work (or part of a work).
The copyright owner has the exclusive right to determine who can produce or reproduce their work (or a substantial part of it) in any form -- print or digital formats and how the formats are shared.
Copyright is Automatic
- In Canada, copyright protection exists as soon as an original work is created.
- When you produce something original in a fixed form (written, video, audio, artwork etc ...) you own the copyright for that work.
- Only the copyright owner has the right to decide when and how the work is copied.
- You can assign the copyright to someone else (giving the right to manage the copyright to another individual or company).
What is protected by Copyright?
In Canada all creative works are protected including:
- Literary works such as books, magazines, pamphlets ,newspapers
- Artistic works such as drawings, engravings, paintings and photographs
- Digital material like computer programs, databases, emails, blogs, wikis and websites
- Dramatic works including radio and television shows, films, plays and musicals
- Musical works such as arrangements, adaptations, sound recordings and sheet music
Does copyright protection need a copyright statement?
- No. A copyright symbol © may be used but is not required.
- It is important to remember that copyright exists with or without a copyright statement.
How does it affect me?
- Copyright protection is part of Canadian laws.
- You are responsible for ensuring that your use of copyright protected content is allowed under Canadian copyright law.
- You campus library staff can provide information and support for understanding your personal responsibilities.
- It is important to understand how to evaluate your right to reproduce images - Try the NSCC Image Evaluation Tool.
- An exception grants the right to copy and use copyright protected content without permission under certain conditions.
- Exceptions to copyright may allow you make copies for an educational purpose (see fair dealing guidelines).
- Quoting sentences, paragraphs, or paraphrasing content for an assignments does not involve copying substantial portions of a work. These actions are guided by Academic Integrity. You must always give credit for the words or ideas created by others.
Creative Commons (CC)
- A CC licence is a more open licence, that creators can choose to use, for their copyright protected content
- Allows use including copying -- without requesting permission -- as long as the licence conditions are followed.
- For more information about Creative Commons licences, go to the Creative Commons Tab on this guide.
How do I know what content I can I use?