Copyright resources and links for authors and other creators

The information and links below provide additional resources for individuals creating copyright protected works. 

Copyright tools and forms

Copyright Decision Tree
Provides steps to determine whether you can use a copyright protected work in the way you would like to, both for teaching and for other purposes. Use this in conjunction with other resources and information on this website.  Also available as plain text: Text version of Copyright Decision Tree

Copyright and 3D Printing
Provides guidelines for creating your own 3D printing designs and objects, or using others' 3D files to print objects.

Consent and Release Form - Photos, Videos, Recordings
Release form for use by any SFU department or group photographing or recording individuals.

Consent and Release Form - Previously Created Work
Release form for use by any SFU department or group sourcing media from the public (e.g. alumni, event attendees).

Independent Contractor Agreement
Agreement for use by any SFU department or group hiring external freelance media creators.

Sample copyright statement for your course syllabus
Provides text for instructors wanting to inform students of their copyright rights and responsibilities, specifically relating to use and sharing of the instructor's teaching materials.

Mysterious and perplexing SFU Copyright Office posters
Information about this SFU Copyright Office campaign using magic show posters in the public domain, created by SFU Library Communications.

SFU copyright resources

Data and copyright
Provides information about how copyright pertains to different types of data, intended for researchers uploading material to research data repositories such as FRDR.

Scholarly Publishing (SFU Library)
Provides authors with information about options for publishing their scholarly works, including the traditional publishing business model as well as alternatives such as open access journals, open access institutional and disciplinary repositories, Creative Commons licensing and retaining certain creator rights.

About Creative Commons licenses workshop slides by the Copyright Office


Text versions 

Copyright Decision Tree 

SFU employees have the responsibility to abide by Canada’s Copyright Act and by the University’s own copyright policies.

This decision tree will help you determine whether you can use a copyright protected work in the way you would like to.

Is the work protected by copyright? 

Material not protected by copyright includes material in the public domain and material lacking in creativity or originality such as data, facts or ideas. The FAQs at copyright.sfu.ca can help you.

  • Yes (go to next step)
  • No (use the work)

Are you the creator of the work? 

If so, do you own copyright in the work? Or have you retained the right to use it for this purpose, or to use a different version (e.g. a pre-print)?

  • Yes (use the work or the specific version allowed)
  • No (go to next step)

What do you want to do with the work? Is the work licensed for this type of use? 

(E.g. Library license, Open Access, Creative Commons)

  • Yes (use the work and comply with conditions of license)
  • No (go to next step)

Is there a licensing agreement or statement specifically disallowing this use of the work? 

(E.g. website terms of use, restrictions on Library license)

  • Yes (find a different source for the same work without the restriction OR go to "If you are unable to use this material")
  • No (go to next step)

Is the work protected by a technological protection measure (TPM)? 

(E.g. password or download-blocker)

  • Yes (find a different source for the same work without TPM (e.g. scan a print version instead of downloading a pdf) OR go to "If you are unable to use this material")
  • No (go to next step)

Does fair dealing or another Copyright Act exception apply? 

See the Instructors section at copyright.sfu.ca for what you can do with copyright protected works for teaching purposes, or contact the Copyright Office (copy@sfu.ca) with any questions.

  • Yes (use the work and comply with conditions in the Act)
  • No (go to next step)

If you are unable to use this material

You could:

  • ask the copyright holder for permission to use the work in this way,
  • adapt the material, repurpose the data in your own way or paraphrase (with attribution in each case),
  • provide a link to the work instead,
  • remove the work, or
  • use a different work.

All works must be legally obtained. Works must be properly cited. 07/2019.