COPYRIGHT FOR TEACHERS

What we need to remember

What does copyright protect and how long does it last?


  • Copyright provides protection for literary, artistic, dramatic or musical works (including computer programs) and other subject-matter known as performer's performances, sound recordings and communication signals.
  • Generally, copyright lasts for the life of the author, the remainder of the calendar year in which the author dies, and for 50 years following the end of that calendar year. Therefore, protection will expire on December 31 of the 50th year after the author dies.
  • As of June 2015, performances and sound recordings are protected for 70 years after their release date.

What is Fair Dealing?

In 2012, the Copyright Act was amended to address fair dealing of copyrighted works when used in non-profit K-12 schools. The Copyright Act states that "it is not an infringement of copyright to deal with a work for the purposes of research, private study, criticism, review, news reporting, education, satire, and parody, provided the dealing is "fair." There are seven points included in the Fair Dealing Guidelines which are posted by photocopiers and printers in our school.


The materials that highlight and explain the copyright rules for teachers is available in the library. You can download your own copy of Copyright Matters! here.

Expectations for Teachers:

  • the use of "short excerpts" are allowed as defined in Copyright Matters!
  • although the amendments support using materials for educational purposes, it is not unlimited access
  • we are responsible for teaching respect for creators and copyright, so we need to model respect for and recognition of intellectual property
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Dealing Fairly with Copyright-Protected Works of Others

Some questions related specifically to digital works and copyright:

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Want even more information about copyright?

If you would like to know more about copyright, here are a few options:


A Guide to Copyright: Canadian Intellectual Property Office


A free course: ERAC online course for educators


Publications & Information for teachers: Council of Ministers of Education, Canada

Works Cited:

"CMEC." Publications. Web. 16 Dec. 2015.

"Copyright Act (R.S.C., 1985, C. C-42)." Legislative Services Branch. Web. 16 Dec. 2015.

“Copyright Course | ERAC." Copyright Course | ERAC. Web. 16 Dec. 2015.

“Examples of Creative Commons License Use." Creative Commons. 13 Sept. 2013. Web. 16 Dec. 2015.

Noel, Wanda, and Jordan Snel. Copyright Matters!: Some Key Questions and Answers for Teachers. Ottawa: Council of Ministers of Education, Canada, 2012. Print.