At school, you have a number of educational user exceptions to copyright which allow you to use copyright-protected works in your assignments, such as:
Fair dealing: Use of material from a copyright protected work (literature, musical scores, audiovisual works, etc.) without permission under certain conditions. People can use fair dealing for research, private study, education, parody, satire, criticism, review, and news reporting. For the copying to be fair, a number of factors must be considered, such as the amount you are copying, if the work is being distributed to others, and whether your copying might compete with the original work.
Non-commercial user-generated content (UGC): An individual's use of a work as long as the following conditions are met:
What is copyright? Copyright is the legal protection of creative works. This protection is automatic once the work is fixed. Generally, protection lasts for a certain number of years after the creator dies.
After the copyright protection expires on a work, the work enters into the public domain.
Did you know? Copyright is only considered when you use substantial amounts of work.
Fair dealing guidelines for short excerpts: You can copy up to 10% of a work or:
Fair dealing guidelines for short excerpts: You can copy a short excerpt up to the fair dealing limits according to the type of media.
Audio: You can use a song in your in-class presentation as long as it does not require changing the format of the music (e.g. copying music from a CD to a file format that can be added to the presentation).
Video: You can play the entire physical work (e.g. DVD, Blu-ray) in class as long as it's a legal copy. For example, one you own, bought from a store or borrowed from the library. An illegally downloaded copy should never be shown in class. YouTube videos may be streamed in the classroom for educational purposes provided that the video is accessed directly through the YouTube website and the video was legally uploaded by the YouTube channel. For other websites, refer to each site's terms and conditions. Video platforms with logins, such as Netflix, cannot be used as you are only licensed to show them in the privacy of your home.
Fair dealing allows for the use of copyrighted works such as images in multimedia assignments and for you to share the assignment in class presentations or through Blackboard.
Educational user rights apply to classroom settings only (including Blackboard). They no longer apply when you 'publicly' distribute assignments (post online, make accessible, etc.).
If user rights don't apply to your use, you still have options:
The non-commercial UGC exception may apply to your use. Contact the MRU Copyright Advisor for more information.