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Copyright Information: Educational & other exceptions

Aside from Fair Dealing, are there any Educational Exceptions I can rely on?

The Copyright Act contains a number of exceptions that permit instructors, staff and students of an educational institution to engage in activities that would otherwise be prohibited.

Under section 29.4 of the Copyright Act, persons acting under the authority of an educational institution may do the following on the premises* of an educational institution for the purposes of education or training:

  • reproduce a work in order to display it (eg. via an overhead projector in a classroom)
  • reproduce a work as required for a test or examination

Under section 29.5 of the Copyright Act, persons acting under the authority of an educational institution may do the following on the premises of an education institution for an audience consisting primarily of students and instructors of the institution, for educational and training purposes and not for profit:

  • have students perform a work
  • play a sound recording or video, provided the copy played is not an illegitimate copy itself
  • play a live television broadcast

Under section 29.6 of the Copyright Act, a person acting under the authority of an educational institution may:

  • copy a news program (excluding documentaries) at the time of broadcast and show it to a class

For more information on the uses of copyrighted materials, teaching and education, visit the section of this guide on Using Copyrighted Materials.

* The Copyright Act defines premises as "a place where education or training…is provided, controlled or supervised by the educational institution."


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Can I copy a work in an alternate format for people with disabilities?

According to section 32 (1,2 and 3) of the Copyright Act it is not an infringement to make a copy of a work (other than a cinematographic work) in a format designed for a person with a perceptual disability provided it is not already commercially available in an appropriate format.

If you have specific questions about what would fall under this exception, please ask


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Content on this page has been copied and adapted from the "Copyright at UBC" website, created by the University of British Columbia under a CC BY 4.0 International License.

Have a copyright question?

If, after browsing this guide, you still have questions or require additional information please contact, or 403.440.6618.

Student drop-in office hours on the main floor of the RLLC will resume in September, 2019.