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Copyright and Undergraduate Research

For detailed information about copyright and undergraduate research, see the FAQs on the Copyright page.

Using Media in your Presentations

Copyright Information for Multimedia Assignments

At school, you have a number of user rights 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:

  1. The original work was published
  2. Your work is non-commercial
  3. The original work is cited
  4. The original work used is a legal copy
  5. Your work doesn't affect or compete with the original work's ability to be commercially distributed

Canadian Copyright Act
MRU Copyright Libguide


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 a substantial amount of a work.

Text materials

Fair dealing guidelines for short excerpts: You can copy up to 10% of a work or:

  • 1 chapter from a book
  • 1 article from a periodical
  • 1 newspaper article or page
  • 1 entry from a reference work (e.g. encyclopedia, dictionary.)


Internet materials

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 and Video

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 D2L.

Posting publicly

Educational user rights apply to classroom settings only (including D2L). They no longer apply when you 'publicly' distribute assignments (post online, make publicly accessible, etc.).

If user rights don't apply to your use, you still have options:

  • Use content with an open license (e.g. Creative Commons)
  • Use works from the public domain
  • Get written permission from the copyright owner

Fair dealing or the non-commercial UGC exception may apply to your use. Contact the MRU Copyright Advisor for more information.

Copyright Help

Questions about re-using or adapting content for your posters, podcasts or presentations?

Contact Taylor McPeak, Copyright Advisor at or visit the MRU Copyright Guide.