You are here

Copyright law and policy

The information and links on this page will connect you to Canada's Copyright Act and SFU's copyright policies. Below you will also find information about the committees that assist the Copyright Office with copyright administration at SFU.

Canada’s Copyright Act

The Copyright Act defines the types of works that are protected by copyright in Canada, the terms of those protections and the rights of creators, as well as the rights of users, including ways in which copyright protected material can be copied, distributed and used. It includes legal exceptions such as fair dealing, as well as specific exceptions applicable to educational institutions, libraries, archives and museums.

This searchable, online version of Canada’s copyright law and the regulations made under it is published on the federal Department of Justice website. 

SFU copyright policy framework (published on the University’s Policy Gazette website) 

Policy R30.03 Intellectual Property

Policy R30.03 describes how the University manages the intellectual property rights of members of the university community who create works as a result of intellectual or artistic activity in a scholarly, professional or student capacity. Intellectual property rights that can be protected under legislation include copyright as well as patents, trade-marks, integrated topography, industrial design and trade secrets.  

Policy R30.04 describes how the University manages its rights and obligations under Canada’s copyright law when copyright protected works in any medium are used for a bona fide university teaching, learning, research or administrative purpose. The policy specifies what support and services the university will provide and identifies the persons with responsibilities under the policy including employees and students.

Policy R30.04 consists of the umbrella policy Copyright Compliance and Administration as well as the following schedules and appendices, which provide further information about the application of the policy, specific teaching and learning practices, and working with specific media:

Schedule R30.04A Entities Covered and Not Covered by the Scope of Policy R30.04

Schedule R30.04A names the entities covered under Policy R30.04 that must comply with its provisions and names those entities not covered by the policy because they operate independent of the University. 

Schedule R30.04B Alternatives to Reduce the Reliance on Copyright Protected Works that Require Further Permission or Compensation

Schedule R30.04B suggests alternative resources, which instructors can use alone or in combination at their discretion, to reduce reliance on copyright protected works which may require further permission or compensation.  

Appendix R30.04A Application of Fair Dealing under Policy R30.04 (the Fair Dealing Policy)

Appendix R30.04A describes the fair dealing requirements and copying limits, which employees and students must follow to copy and use copyright protected work without permission from the copyright owner or the payment of copyright royalties. 

Please note that the Library's licenses or other publisher agreements into which the University (or you/your department) has entered supersede the provisions of the law and university policy. For example, an e-journal license may specify that adding an article to a learning management system is prohibited but inclusion in a course pack is permitted.

Appendix R30.04B Standard for Evaluating if a Particular Instance of Copying is Fair Dealing under Policy R30.04

Appendix R30.04B explains how the Copyright Officer and the University evaluate whether a particular instance of copying or communication of a copyright protected work is permitted under the fair dealing exception when it exceeds the copying limits in Appendix R30.04A.

Appendix R30.04C General Application of Appendix R30.04A - Application of Fair Dealing under Policy R30.04

Appendix R30.04C provides further detail about copyright and describes how Appendix R30.04A, the Fair Dealing Policy, applies to the university community and instructional uses. It includes definitions and explanations of infringement, digital licenses, fair dealing and other exceptions in the Copyright Act.

Appendix R30.04D Application of Appendix R30.04A to Learning Management Systems

Appendix R30.04D provides guidance on the application of Appendix R30.04A, the Fair Dealing Policy, to selecting and uploading material for courses in a learning management system such as Canvas.

Appendix R30.04E Application of Appendix R30.04A to the Production and Sale of Course Packs

Appendix R30.04E provides guidance on the application of Appendix R30.04A, the Fair Dealing Policy, to selecting material for copying in course packs. Course packs must be produced through the Bookstore.

Appendix R30.04F Application of Appendix R30.04A to Audiovisual Works

Appendix R30.04F provides guidance on the application of Appendix R30.04A, the Fair Dealing Policy, to the selecting, sourcing, copying and using of audiovisual works for instruction at SFU.

Appendix R30.04G Application of Appendix R30.04A to Musical Works and Sound Recordings

Appendix R30.04G provides guidance on the application of Appendix R30.04A, the Fair Dealing Policy, to the selecting, sourcing, copying and using of musical works and sound recordings for instruction at SFU.

Appendix R30.04H Application of Appendix R30.04A to Library Copying

Appendix R30.04H provides guidance on the application of Appendix R30.04A, the Fair Dealing Policy, to the copying and communicating of short excerpts of copyright protected works by the university library. This policy applies to document delivery and the placing of materials on reserve.

Appendix R30.04I Application of Appendix R30.04A to Teaching and Research by University Faculty and Staff

Appendix R30.04I provides guidance on the application of Appendix R30.04A, the Fair Dealing Policy, to the copying and communicating of copyright protected works by faculty and staff in the course of their teaching and research. It also applies to students employed by the University as teaching assistants or instructors and to post-doctoral fellows for the copying and communicating of copyright protected works done during the course of their employment.

Appendix R30.04J Application of Appendix R30.04A to the Student Activities of Learning and Research

Appendix R30.04J provides guidance on the application of Appendix R30.04, the Fair Dealing Policy, to student copying and use of copyright protected works for learning and research purposes.

Risk Management Copyright Policy Framework for SFU Library Digitization Projects

This framework describes how the Copyright Office will assess the risk level associated with digitizing and disseminating third party copyright protected material where it is not feasible or possible to contact rights holders. The framework includes an introduction to the approach, the form and guidelines used by the Copyright Office to make a risk assessment, and the protocol for responding to takedown requests.

Questions?

If you have a general information question about copyright law, fair dealing practices or the licenses that SFU holds, contact the Liaison Librarian for your department. If your question requires interpreting and applying the law and policy to your particular circumstances, the Copyright Officer is available to answer your specific questions and provide assistance.

SFU copyright committees

Copyright Administration Committee

Copyright Advisory Committee