Using Third Party Content in Lecture Slides Displayed in Class
Displaying third-party owned materials in slides displayed in class is a common and excepted practice. This practice can be continued in full compliance with copyright law, in each of the following circumstances:
If the third party copyrighted material within your lecture slides qualifies as a "Short Excerpt", as defined in the MRU Fair Dealing Guidelines, or you have received the copyright owner's written permission (which may include an electronic resources license), then you may post a copy of the lecture slides into MRU's secure learning management system (Blackboard), provide physical copies to your students, or send digital copies via email.
Tricky bit: Please note that when considering the distribution of lecture slides, there is an important distinction between posting the slides to a publicly accessible website, and posting the slides to a website that is restricted to students enrolled in your course. Blackboard, MRU's learning management system, is a password protected, secure website that is restricted to and accessible only by MRU students, and each student's access is limited to the courses they are registered in. By contrast, most privately owned websites (e.g. YouTube) are publicly accessible, in the sense that anyone may visit, not just your students. Posting lecture slides containing third party owned copyrighted works to Blackboard is different and far less risky (from a copyright perspective), than posting the same slides on a publicly accessible website.
If you are considering using third party owned copyrighted material in the lecture slides, and you conclude that your use is not possible without the copyright owner's permission, which cannot or is impractical for you to obtain, the following considerations may be helpful:
You may record a lecture, either as a video-recording or "voice-over PowerPoint," and post the recording of the lecture onto MRU's secure learning management system (Blackboard) for your students to access. If the lecture contains images of third party owned copyrighted material, the use of that material must comply with copyright law.
If the amount of third party owned copyrighted material does not exceed a "Short Excerpt", as defined in the MRU Fair Dealing Guidelines, the fair dealing exception may be applied. Note: it is permissible to use the fair dealing exception to record a lecture for the purposes of delivering MRU courses online through a secure learning management system.
An alternative to this application of the general fair dealing right described above, is the specific exception for third party owned copyrighted material included in a recorded lesson. This is known as the Lesson Exception (see s. 30.01 of the Copyright Act).
For this exception to apply, the institution and the student must comply with several very important, and limiting, conditions, the most important of which is that the student and MRU must destroy all recordings of the lesson within 30 days after the day on which the students enrolled in the course have received their final course evaluation.
If you have any questions or wish to use the Lesson Exception, please contact the MRU Copyright Advisor at MRUcopyright@mtroyal.ca for more information.
There are many factors that affect the recording of lectures, including FOIP and Human Rights considerations. The following resources may be helpful. Please note that nothing in this LibGuide should be taken as legal advice; it is for information purposes only.
Relevant Legislation and MRU Policies
Generally speaking, it is possible for copyright to exist in a lecture. However, recording a lecture intersects with many different pieces of legislation and MRU policies, including but not limited to:
"As members of the institution, all employees and students are required to inform themselves of their legal duty and will not use copyright material without ensuring that prior permission has been obtained from the copyright holder or unless permitted under the Copyright Act." The Copyright Policy also states: "Students who are in violation of the Policy may be disciplined under the Student Code of Conduct."
If, after browsing this guide, you still have questions or require additional information please contact MRUcopyright@mtroyal.ca, or 403.440.6618.
The Copyright Advisor is also available in EL1132 for drop-in office hours: