Media Collection: Copyright and Licensing

The Canadian Copyright Act covers all media works including film, video, sound recordings, computer programs and graphics, and protects the creator’s rights to performance, publication and reproduction.

The act provides for the fair use of copyrighted materials for educational purposes:

The Copyright Act (Section 29.5) allows for the showing of any cinematographic videos without the need to obtain permission. One can use one's own DVDs provided they are non-infringing copies.

Most educational titles in the collection (i.e. documentary, non-fiction films) must be purchased with an educational screening license. These licenses are obtained from educational distributors and normally last for the life of the tape or disc.

Taped Shows or Clips

Currently, the only exemption for educational use is the allowance of off-air taping of news programs and news commentary programs, provided that the off-air copy be destroyed within one year of its making.

You cannot tape a feature film or documentary type material off-air for use in the classroom.

If you see television broadcasts that you would like to use in the classroom, please contact Library Acquisitions. We may be able to obtain licensed copies, if they are available for purchase.