Copyright Guidelines

Faculty, staff, and students of Cape Breton University are required to comply with the Copyright Act of Canada. Copyright is a legal right created by the law of a country that grants the creator of an original work exclusive rights for its use and distribution.

The Copyright Act of Canada dictates that the copyright owner has the exclusive right to reproduce all or a substantial part of a work.
Individuals are prohibited from making copies of all or substantial parts of copyright protected works without the permission of the copyright owner. Copying such works without the permission of the copyright owner may be in violation of the Copyright Act. This can include photocopying, scanning, downloading/uploading and emailing.

Fair Dealing

Part of the Copyright Act of Canada, Fair Dealing permits the limited educational use of copyright protected material without the risk of copyright violation and without having to seek the permission of copyright owners.

As professors, instructors, and researchers in a post-secondary institution, the Fair Dealing provision of the Copyright Act allows for the reproduction and distribution of short excerpts of protected works for educational and research purposes.

A short excerpt is defined as :

  • 10% of a published work
  • 1 chapter of a published work
  • 1 article from a journal or periodical
  • 1 artistic work (ex: a copy of a painting)
  • 1 newspaper article or page
  • 1 selection from a collection of works (ex: 1 poem from an anthology)
  • 1 entry from a reference work (ex: an encyclopedia)

These excerpts can be reproduced for a class handout or a Moodle file.

If you require a copy or reproduction that is larger than the short excerpt, there are ways to make the material available for education and research. Linking to a digital collection, an e-book, or online journal within your syllabus or through Moodle. Placing a copy of a book on reserve when more than one chapter is needed. Finally, you may request permission from the copyright holder to use their work.  Permission is required and must be given before reproducing the material. Permission should be obtained in writing. Fees or royalties may be attached and allowances may take several weeks. If permission is not granted, you will need to seek an alternative method or resource.

More about Copyright:

  • The Copyright Act covers seven categories of works.
    • Literary –  journals, books, newspapers, computer software
    • Dramatic – documentaries, films, plays
    • Artistic – architectural drawings, maps, atlases, stage and costume designs
    • Musical – sheet music, songs with or without words, audio CDs
    • Sound Recording – CDs, talking books, audio books, sound effects
    • Performer’s Performance – recorded performances of authors, performers, singers
    • Communication Signal – radio or television signals
  • In most cases, the owner of copyright in a work is the author/creator.  Only the author/creator can sell, licence or give away copyright in a work.
  • The duration of copyright lasts for the author/creator’s life plus 50 years. The work then becomes public domain.
  • An idea cannot be copyrighted. The expession of an idea is what can be copyrighted.

References :

Access Copyright’s Title Search and Permission Tool

The Copyright Act of Canada

Fair Dealing Guidelines

Copyright Decision Map  – University of Western Ontario

Copyright Basics – Dalhousie University

Access Copyright Affiliation Agreement

Shawn Bethke
Dean of the Library & Multicultural Learning

Office: L-138-C

Phone: 563.1698

Patrick Hanratty
Library Technician – Distance Education, Reserves & Copyright

Office: Library

Phone: 902-563-1320

Jasmine Hoover
Scholarly Resources Librarian / School of Science & Technology Liaison Librarian

Office: Library 118C

Phone: 902-563-1231

Laura Syms
Shannon School of Business & Data Services Liaison Librarian

Office: L-118-A

Phone: 902.563.1994

Cathy Chisholm
School of Professional Studies Liaison Librarian (Education, Nursing and Public Health)

Office: Library L-120

Phone: 902.563.1993