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Michael Byun, Manager, Bookstores

Tim Paul, Manager, Academic Technology Services.
Responsible for Audio/Visual Recording and online content used for instructional purposes.

Katharine Shipley, Associate Director of Learning Resources.
Responsible for copyright in relation to use of Library print and digital collections.

Debra Flewelling, Open Education Librarian.

What is copyright and why does it matter?

Copyright is the exclusive legal right to produce, reproduce, publish or perform an original literary, artistic, dramatic or musical work. The creator is usually, but not always, the copyright owner. 

Use of copyright-protected content on campus for educational purposes are governed by:

  • the Copyright Act
  • case law
  • international treaties
  • license agreements between Douglas College and content providers

Through the Library, we offer resources such as this LibGuide, workshops, services such as obtaining permissions for purposes other than coursepacks and advice. Contact us a for assistance with any of the above, including creating a workshop for your department. 

Copyright compliance matters because:

  • it is the law and there are repercussions both for instructors and the college if it is not followed
  • Douglas College has a copyright policy 
  • following it is an integral aspect of academic integrity

What is protected?

In Canada, copyright is automatic for original works in a fixed format. Examples would be:

  • Print works - lecture notes, novels, websites
  • Digital - computer games, photos
  • Music - print scores, recordings 

For how long?

Copyright in Canada lasts for the life of the creator + 70 years following their death. When copyright expires, works enter the public domain

Copyright protects all original: 

  • Literary, dramatic, musical, artistic works (books, drawings, computer code)
  • Sound recordings (lectures, music)
  • Performances (dance, song, theatrical performance)
  • Communications (radio, broadcasts)

Registering your work with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office is optional, but can serve as proof of ownership if needed.  

Copyright does not protect

Facts and ideas are not protected under copyright law. Copyright protects the expression of an idea, not the idea itself.

Not Protected        vs. Protected
The idea for a plot The expression of a plot idea, e.g., in a novel, manuscript, or movie
Facts                                   A newspaper article containing facts  


The information in this resource should not be considered legal advice. The purpose of this guide is to provide Douglas College faculty and students with general information about copyright.