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Copyright @ NSCC

Copyright information for NSCC faculty, staff and students.

Copyright, Academic Integrity, and Cheating

NSCC course materials are protected by copyright.  

  • Copyright for most content in NSCC courses (including Brightspace) belongs to the NSCC instructor and NSCC, or educational publishing companies, and individual authors.   
  • NSCC instructional use of content is covered by licenses and permissions.   
  • The permissions and licenses (for use of instructional content) only apply to NSCC students.   
  • Further copying or sharing by students is not allowed.  
  • You cannot share instructional materials outside of your class -- unless they have a Creative Commons (CC) license.
  • This includes uploading files to external* websites  

*An external website is any website not hosted or managed by NSCC.  

Academic Integrity at NSCC

  • NSCC students do NOT have the right to share NSCC course materials outside of NSCC.
  • This is a breach of NSCC’s Academic Integrity Policy and copyright. 
  • See NSCC's Academic Integrity Guide for more information and examples.

Copyright & Students

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 - Copyright Act
  • You are responsible for ensuring that your use of copyright protected content is a permitted use.
  • 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.
  • A CC license 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?


Copyright in the Classroom

Instructor Materials and Copyright

  • Your class materials are protected by copyright and cannot be shared unless
    • you have permission from your instructor or
    • the content has an open copyright license.
  • Examples of Instructional content protected by copyright include:
    • Spoken and written lecture content (including recorded videos)
    • Lecture handouts and presentations
    • Questions and solutions sets for assignments, quizzes, tests, and final exams

Student Copyright Violation Examples

  • Uploading course materials (e.g., assignments, lecture notes) to online repositories such as note-sharing platforms
  • Using course materials in third-party settings (e.g., in off-campus, third-party tutoring organizations) 
  • Using pirated versions of commercial textbooks

Student Work and Copyright

  • Copyright protection exists automatically in all original work.
  • Copyright belongs to the creator ... except when the creator is an employee.
  •  For work created by employees as part of their employment -- the copyright belongs to the employer unless there is an agreement that states otherwise.
  • Students are not employees. Students own the copyright in their original work.

Students as Copyright Owners

  • Instructors must respect the copyright ownership of all creators including students.
  • To save, reproduce, and share an entire student assignment with classes in future years, requires permission from the student (the copyright owner).

Copyright and Social Media