FAQs Browse

Can students include copyright protected materials in their assignments and presentations?

Generally yes. Under fair dealing, students may include limited amounts of copyright protected material in their assignments and presentations. Students presenting in class or submitting assignments to an instructor are subject to the same rules, limits and exceptions that apply to instructors. See the Copyright and Teaching infographic for details on the amounts that can be copied and how they can be used under fair dealing and other exceptions in the Copyright Act.

Can the library send me electronic copies of articles using the interlibrary loan service?

Yes. Almost all articles requested via interlibrary loan are delivered to the requestor using a secure post-to-web service that complies with Canada’s Copyright Act.

Can videos be borrowed through Interlibrary Loans?

Unfortunately no. Libraries usually do not lend each other media items (DVDs, videos, etc.).

The exception is for instructors booking films for classroom showing. If you're an instructor and you want to show a specific film which SFU doesn't own, please complete an interlibrary loan request using the Media booking form. SFU is a member of the BC Media Resource Sharing Agreement, which allows BC post-secondary libraries to lend each other media items.

To check if another library in BC has the video you want, access Outlook Online and limit your search to the "ELN Media Catalogue".

Do honours students have any special borrowing privileges?Honour students have their loan privileges expanded to equal that of graduate students. This upgraded status is awarded to all undergraduate students in the honours program.
Do I have to do anything to be protected by copyright?

No. Copyright in a work exists automatically when an original literary, artistic or dramatic work is created, or a performance, sound recording or broadcasting signal is created or published, so the owner is protected under copyright common law. Under Canadian copyright law, the work does not need to be registered and the symbol © is not required to appear on the work. There may not even be any reference to copyright protection. It is possible for the work to be registered under a voluntary government registration system, such as that of the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO). Registration with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office does not preclude or enhance protection. However, it is still a good idea to register your copyright and to indicate notice of copyright on your works.

Do I need to ask permission to link to a website?

Content found online is protected by copyright in the same way as print and other formats, even if there is no copyright symbol or notice. Linking directly to the web page containing the content you wish to use is almost always permitted. You should also include the full details of the author, copyright owner and source of the materials by the link. This will avoid any suggestion that the website is your own material or that your website is somehow affiliated with the other site. 

If you have reason to believe that the website may contain content posted without the permission of the copyright owner, you should avoid linking to it.

If you want to copy content from a website, rather than link to it, you must comply with statements prohibiting copying of material on the site or indicating that permission is required to copy the content. Such statements are typically found in sections titled ‘Terms of Use’ or ‘Legal Notices,’ and are often linked from the very bottom (footer) of the page.

Do I need to obtain permission if I want copyright protected material printed on campus?

It depends.  If fair dealing, or another exception, or a license that the Library has for electronic resources covers the amount and purpose of the copying, express permission is not required.  If, for example, you want copies printed for a classroom handout, and the amount to be copied is consistent with fair dealing, you will not need permission.  If, however, fair dealing, or another exception, or a Library license does not cover what you want to copy, permission will be needed.  Any material submitted for printing by Document Solutions is checked for copyright clearance.  If you have permission to copy the item from the copyright owner, please provide documentation for the permission when submitting your order.  If you do not have permission, Document Solutions will be unable to fill your reproduction order.

Do I need to obtain permission to include a chart, diagram, map or other image in my thesis?

If the thesis includes reproductions of copyright protected images, including but not limited to, figures, drawings, paintings, photographs, logos, maps, diagrams, tables or charts, the author of the thesis must in some cases obtain written authorization from the copyright holder in order to reproduce this material for inclusion in the thesis. If fair dealing applies, the material is usable under a Creative Commons or similar license or the material is not protected by copyright, permission may not be necessary, but documentation of the exception may be required. Contact the Copyright Office (copy@sfu.ca) for more information.

The request for permission from the copyright holder must state that the thesis will be available in full-text format on the internet for reference, study and / or copying and that the electronic version of the thesis will be accessible through Summit, the SFU Digital Research Repository and through the Library’s online catalogue.

For theses and dissertations (but not projects or extended essays) the letter also needs to state that Library and Archives Canada will be granted a non-exclusive license to reproduce, loan, or distribute single copies of the thesis by any means and in any form or format.

A template letter prepared by the Copyright Officer is available for you to modify and use when requesting permissions.

Do I own copyright in my thesis?

Yes. However, when submitting your thesis, you will be required to grant a partial copyright license allowing the University Library to post your thesis in Summit, the University’s digital research repository, and allowing Library and Archives Canada to make your thesis available on the Internet and in searchable databases. These license clearly stipulates that you own the copyright to your thesis, but that you have allowed "non-exclusive" use of your thesis by the University Library and by Library and Archives Canada.

Do I submit my honours thesis to the library?

Currently, honours theses are not available in the library and undergraduate students do not typically submit their theses to the library. 

Honours theses may be deposited in Summit, SFU's research repository. Contact your undergraduate honours supervisor about the suitability of putting your honours thesis in Summit. If your supervisor agrees that your honours thesis belongs in Summit, please forward it to summit@sfu.ca along with your name and the name of your supervisor.

Please feel free to contact summit@sfu.ca for more information about submitting your work.