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A Guide to Copyright for CNC Faculty and Staff


What is Copyright?


Copyright is "the sole right or the right to allow others to publish, produce and to perform in public a literary or artistic work, for any purpose."  In Canada, protection begins immediately on creation of the work and exists until 50 years after the creator's death. After that time, the work is usually considered part of the public domain and, therefore, not subject to copyright restrictions.

The Canadian Copyright Act gives copyright owners – usually authors or publishers – the sole right to copy or to authorize someone else to copy their works. The “fair dealing” provision set out in the Canadian Copyright Act permits making a single copy of an unsubstantial portion of a work for the purpose of research, private study, criticism, review, news reporting, education, satire, and parody. See the ACCC Fair Dealing Guidelines for more information on fair dealing practices. 



What is Access Copyright?


Access Copyright is a Canadian agency that administers rights, collects royalties from institutions, and distributes the money collected to the copyright owner.  CNC has an agreement with Access Copyright and employees can view CNC's signed copy of the CNC-Access Copyright Agreement covering the term September 1, 2018-Aug. 31, 2021 on the R: drive, Copyright folder.

Access Copyright covers most publishers in most countries, but there are some notable exceptions, such as government publications, and specific publishers who have excluded themselves (see Exclusions lists  posted on Access Copyright website).  If a work is not covered under Access Copyright, you will need to contact the publisher or copyright owner directly to obtain permission for use (click here  for a sample request letter, or contact the Library Director for advice; for BC and Canadian government publications, see "Links" section below for request forms).

What does the Access Copyright agreement allow?

  • The making of photocopies for distribution to students, including class handouts, without charge to the student.  CNC pays an annual FTE-based fee for this.
  • The making of photocopies for sale, such as in coursepacks.  Contact the Print Room for information on the recordkeeping required to track use of items that are reproduced and resold.
    • Print Room Forms: Click here to get CNC Print Room forms and information
  • Making slides and overheads from published works.
  • Posting electronic course content [see Internet  section below].

Making One Copy


You may copy items to be placed On Reserve in the library and also for personal use.  The following are guidelines for making single copies for reserve and individual research purposes:

  • Book excerpts of not more than 10% of the total
  • Journal, magazine and newspaper articles
  • Conference proceedings
  • A book chapter or article
  • Encyclopedia articles
  • An artistic reproduction from a source that includes other works (can be made into an overhead or slide for classroom display)

You may NOT do the following (unless specific permission has been obtained)

  • Make photocopies of unpublished work
  • Photocopy more than 10% of the same publication for the same course in the same year.  (i.e. copying the whole book 10% at a time)
  • Change or adapt the published work
  • Copy from Crown (government) publications

Making Multiple Copies for Distribution


You may make multiple copies for free distribution to students and employees of CNC in accordance with the following:

  • A maximum of one copy each for students, two for faculty, plus any number for administrative use
  • Acknowledgement of the publisher and author or artist must appear
  • The publisher or country must be covered by the Access Copyright agreement  
  • Other conditions are listed under Making One Copy

You may NOT do the following (unless specific permission has been obtained)

  • Photocopy a work that has a notice prohibiting copying under license
  • Photocopy instructional manuals or workbooks
  • Photocopy sheet music or musical scores intended for bands, choirs, etc.
  • Reproduce Letters to the Editor
  • Reproduce Advertisements
  • Photocopy Newsletters to subscribers with commercially valuable information
  • Photocopy Business Cases that are available for purchase
  • Other restrictions as listed under Making One Copy

Making Multiple Copies for Purchase (including Coursepacks)


Copies for purchase are handled through the Print Room.  Arrangements are centralized there for record keeping.

You may make copies for purchase by students and employees of CNC as follows:

  • A maximum of one copy each for students, two for faculty, plus any number for administrative use
  • Charges are restricted to cost of copying plus administrative and overhead costs  (determined by the College Store)
  • You are copying no more than 10% of a single published work
  • Acknowledgement of publisher and author or artist is made
  • Other copy permissions are as listed under Making One Copy

You may NOT do the following (unless specific permission has been obtained)

  • Copy more than 10% of a publication
  • Other restrictions that are as listed under Making Multiple Copies

Additional Restrictions for Coursepacks

  • A maximum of two excerpts may be from textbooks by the same author and publisher within a 5 year period
  • No more than 5% of a text, or one chapter (whatever is less) may be photocopied
  • The following notice must be placed on the cover of the Coursepack:

This material has been copied under license from Access Copyright.  Resale or further copying of this material is strictly prohibited.

If other sources are used, and separately cleared, in the Coursepack, use this wording:

This material has been copied under license from Access Copyright and other copyright holders.  Resale or further copying of this material is strictly prohibited.

Other Formats


Videos, DVDs, Films

  • Videos, DVDs and Films borrowed from or through CNC Library are available for use in the classroom and for personal use. According to the updated Copyright Act, the classroom is no longer a Public Performance place and so PPR Public Performance Rights are not needed. 
  • Feature films: Feature films can be shown in class and borrowed, but the College does have an Entertainment license, to allow for public pay-for-attendance events. For more information on this, please contact the Library Director.
  • Off-air taping: All requests for off-air taping of radio or television programs must be cleared through Media Services.  This department ensures that taping is done in compliance with federal regulations and reported to the Educational Rights Collective of Canada.  You will be asked to fill out a form; a unique number will be assigned to each taping project. News and news commentary programs can be taped and shown for up to a year before destroying them or paying royalties (currently $2 per minute). Documentaries can be taped for evaluation purposes only, and kept for only 30 days before destroying them or paying royalties.  As a general rule, the College prefers to purchase pre-recorded programming from distributors instead of off-air taping.

The Internet

  • Assume that all information and graphics posted on the Internet are protected by copyright (unless a specific statement is given, waiving this right).
  • You may make single print copies for purposes of study, research or criticism.  This includes the placing of items On Reserve in the library.
  • For multiple copies, you will need to check if the item is covered under the ACCC Fair Dealing guidelines and contact the CNC Library Director if in doubt.
    • Faculty who are developing Moodle or other online courses can post articles, book extracts, web page extracts etc. that are within the ACC Fair Dealing guidelines. Beyond the guidelines, please check with the CNC Library Director about the sources and how to best obtain permission.
    • Tip:  When using information from the Internet on your own website, provide a link to the site, rather than creating another copy of the information
  • Journal articles available from CNC Library-licensed Journal Indexes can be printed, e-mailed or downloaded for purposes of individual study, research or criticism.  Class handouts are usually covered, but most licenses do not include a provision for making multiple copies for Course Packs. Extra permissions may be needed; contact the Library Director for details.

Computer Software

  • All programs available on CNC servers are cleared for CNC use
  • Software you have purchased cannot be copied or mounted on the network, unless those rights have been negotiated by the College


  • Musical scores, words of a song, and musical performances are all copyright protected;
  • We do have the right to use these works in performance, but any copying or distribution needs to be done by separate permission

Original Artwork and Graphics

  • Written permission must be obtained for reproduction (you can, however, use in an overhead or slide to be shown in class)

Student Works

  • Students own the work they have produced and permission must be given for use (see attached Sample Release Form  which covers use of the work, in any and all forms of media including posting online)
  • Photocopies or other reproductions of student works cannot be made without permission, although the original work may be circulated in the classroom.
  • On a related note, if you are taking photos or videos of a class or activity which you plan to use later (e.g. post on web, or in course module) under the Freedom of Information Act you must get written consent from the subjects (see CNC Photo/Video Release form explained further on the CNC FOI/POP web page).

Curriculum Development Projects

  • If you are developing curriculum under contract to the Ministry or for BCcampus courses, consult your contract for copyright provisions.
  • Historical note on Provincial Curriculum Files: From 2004- the College has had license agreements to use trades and academic curriculum files ("ITA Apprenticeship and Entry-Level Trades Training" and "ECC Electronic Curriculum Collection") developed by the C2T2 Centre for Curriculum, Transfer and Technology. With the demise of C2T2 in 2004, the files were downloaded onto CDs and made available for CNC use. Contact the Library/Media Services Director for details.

A few good links..


This guide is based on A Guide to Copyright originally developed by Okanagan University College Library and used with their kind permission.
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